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Spotify, Warner Music Group renew partnership, helps Indian users get wider catalogue

After settling matters with Warner Chapell Music, Spotify has now renewed its global licensing deal with Warner Music Group.

Spotify users in India will now have access to songs from artists like Bruno Mars and Cardi B.
Spotify users in India will now have access to songs from artists like Bruno Mars and Cardi B. (REUTERS)

Spotify on Wednesday announced it has renewed its global licensing partnership with Warner Music Group. The move paves the way for availability of a wider catalogue to Indian users.

Spotify in January this year had entered a similar licensing deal with Warner Music Group's division Warner Chappell Music, ending a year-long dispute. The settlement, however, still barred Spotify from using content signed with Warner Music Group. For instance, Indian users couldn't access content from popular artists such as Ed Sheeran, Coldplay, Madonna, Bruno Mars, and Cardi B.

The latest deal fixes the technical loophole.

"Spotify and Warner Music Group are pleased to announce a renewed global licensing partnership. This expanded deal covers countries where Spotify is available today, as well as additional markets. The two companies look forward to collaborating on impactful global initiatives for Warner artists and songwriters and working together to grow the music industry over the long term," Spotify said in a statement.

Spotify vs Warner Chappell

Spotify launched in India in February, 2019. The launch happened despite getting sued by Warner Chapell Music.

Warner Chapell Music filed a case against Spotify in the Bombay High Court to prevent the streaming platform from using its music. Spotify argued that it had a statutory license in India which allowed it to use content from Warner Chapell Music.

In January 2020, the two sides ended their legal dispute in India by signing a multi-territory licensing agreement. Despite the settled deal with Warner Chapell Music, Spotify still lacked a good number of content and those published by Warner Music Group.

Spotify's India growth

India is one of the hottest streaming markets in the world. Market consulting firm Deloitte in a report predicted the online music market in India to surpass $273 million by 2020.

Spotify in a short time has seen a growth in the country with competitive plans and offers for the younger generation. As of August, 2019, Spotify had raked in 2 million users in the country.

ALSO READ: How Spotify, YouTube, and others revived India's music streaming space in 2019

Since its launch, Spotify has introduced multiple new schemes and offers. One of the initiatives aimed at the Indian market includes a Lite app, which is roughly 10MB in size and works on low-end phones which dominate the Indian smartphone market.

Spotify competes with Apple Music, Amazon Music, and local players such as JioSaavn and Gaana.