Spotify and the global music publishers, Warner Chappell Music (see https://www.warnerchappell.com/about for more information) have come to a multi-territory copyright licensing deal which will include India.
This dispute was regarding a desire by Spotify to allow the Indian market to listen to the back catalogue of Warner Chappell under this new multi-territory deal but it was not agreeable by the publishing giants. This meant that it ended up with court action taken and the High Court in Bombay have been dealing with this dispute throughout the whole of 2019.
In the end, the decision was made to allow Spotify to provide the whole catalogue of Warner Chappell Music through its streaming service throughout India. The reason for the delay in allowing the music of artists to be heard through Spotify in India is that the terms of the licensing arrangement were not agreeable to Warner Chappell Music as it did not consider the copyright licensing proposal by Spotify to appropriately value the artists and offer them a fair and just deal for their music to be streamed by the Indian Spotify customers.
One of the primary issues is that Warner Chappell Music were not allowing for any of the artists in its back catalogue to be available at all to Spotify customers in India as part of the multi-territory proposal which was consider by Spotify to be anti-competitive, arbitrary and discriminatory behaviour. The decision was reached and both parties are happy with the outcome. Spotify have released a statement saying: “In less than a year, millions of Indian listeners have joined Spotify, listening to their favourite artists and songwriters from across the globe. We’re pleased with this agreement, and together with Warner Chappell Music, we look forward to helping songwriters and artists connect with more fans, and for more fans to enjoy and be inspired by their music.”
This is the last hurdle for Spotify in a new multi-territory global licensing deal with Warner Chappell Music and with a deal reached to allow Spotify to stream throughout the Indian market, it now means that depending on jurisdiction when travelling, all of the back catalogue from Warner Chappell Music is now available instead of having to sign up to other streaming sites in these territories.
For further information and our sources, see: