Tech

Spotify and Warner Chappell end dispute in India, sign global licensing deal

Spotify is ending its year-long dispute with Warner Music’s publishing firm.

The world’s largest music streaming service said on Tuesday that it has inked a global licensing agreement with Warner Chappell.

The announcement today marks the end of their litigation before the Bombay High Court, where Warner Music was seeking an injunction against Spotify to prevent it from including Warner’s music in India.

A Warner Chappell spokesperson said the new deal “appropriately values our songwriters’ music and expands our licensed partnership with Spotify to include India.” A Spotify spokesperson said the music streaming business was “pleased” with the outcome.

“In less than a year, millions of Indian listeners have joined Spotify, listening to their favorite 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,” the spokesperson said.

Warner Music had sued Spotify days before the music streaming service launched in India, one of the world’s biggest entertainment markets. In India, Spotify introduced a new free tier and unveiled a premium version that cost just $1.4 a month. Last month, it started a campaign for new and existing users as part of which anyone could sign up for a year-long subscription of Spotify for 699 Indian rupees (~$9.9 — a figure that Spotify incidentally charges each month in many markets including the U.S. ). According to a Bloomberg report in December, Spotify has fewer than 800,000 subscribers in India.

Warner Music Group had asked an Indian court to block Spotify from offering songs by its roster of songwriters, including Katy Perry, in the country. Spotify had argued that it was using an Indian rule that permits radio stations to offer songs from Chappell Music.

Spotify is involved in another similar lawsuit in India with local music label Saregama, which is seeking the music streaming service to remove 100,000 songs. A Spotify spokesperson in India declined to comment on the lawsuit.

More to follow…

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