Indian High Court Orders Spotify to Delete 120,000 Songs

Things haven’t gone so well for Spotify in India.

Two months ago, Spotify finally launched in India.

At first, everything seemed to go well for the streaming music giant.

In its first week, the company announced that it had reached 1 million users on its paid and free, ad-supported tiers in the country.

Things, however, had already gone south for the company by then.

To roll out its service in India, Spotify damaged its strong relationship with Warner Music Group (WMG).

Shortly before its fabled launch, WMG subsidiary Warner/Chappell Music Publishing had attempted to block the rollout, even filing a legal injunction against Spotify.  The streaming music giant had apparently failed to reach a licensing agreement to stream Warner/Chappell’s catalog in India.  Against WMG’s wishes, Spotify launched its service with its own interpretation of statutory usage laws in the country.

Then, YouTube Music, Google’s third attempt to break into the streaming music market, launched in the country.

Undercutting Spotify’s bottom-scraping prices, the popular video platform confirmed its music app had hit 3 million downloads in its first week – a figure that, quite frankly, doesn’t matter.  Apple Music soon undercut Spotify as well.

Keep in mind current market leaders JioSaavn and Gaana had already slashed their subscription prices by 75% to compete with Spotify.

Now, the streaming music giant faces even more trouble in India.

What troubles lie ahead for Spotify?

The Delhi High Court has now ordered the streaming music giant to delete music label Saregama’s catalog from its service.

A month before its launch in India, the company had approached the label to license its entire catalog.  Saregama owns around 120,000 tracks.  The label lists licensing music deals as its primary source of revenue.  Talks, however, eventually broke down before all parties could reach a proper licensing agreement.

The Indian music label had sought the High Court’s injunction against the streaming music giant.  Saregama asked the court to prevent Spotify from exploiting its works that would result in a violation of its intellectual property rights.

The streaming music giant now has 10 days to delete the works. Spotify’s counsel claims it doesn’t consider the case “an adversarial [matter].”


Featured image by Pogaface (CC by 3.0).

One Response

  1. ted

    business as usual for non-musician billionaires dan ek and sean parker… wiping out any and all in its path, spotify, destroying the music industry one country at a time. when are people going to finally wake up and stop supporting these crooks? fyi spotify, google/youtube and amazon are now suing the government to pay LESS in royalties!!! as if….