Ed Sheeran fans, it’s time to rejoice. Thirteen months after launching in India, Spotify just took one big to erase its woes — the Sweden-headquartered music streaming service has renewed its global licensing partnership with Warner Music Group. That means Spotify users in India will now have access to hundreds of hours of music from Ed Sheeran and dozens of other missing artists, including the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Madonna, Cardi B, Linkin Park, Coldplay, Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Bruno Mars, David Guetta, Paramore, Green Day, Twenty One Pilots, and Panic! at the Disco. This is a big deal, as it finally makes Spotify a worthwhile competitor in India.
Additionally, Spotify has also renewed its deal with Saregama as well, which solves the second of its licensing woes in India. In a statement to Gadgets 360, it said: “We are pleased to have reached a resolution with Saregama and to have their catalogue included on our service.” Music from Bollywood and other Indian film industries, including movies such as Total Dhamaal, Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, and Monsoon Shootout, in addition to devotional, classical, and ghazal music licensed to Saregama, will now be available on Spotify in India as well.
The new agreement between Spotify and Warner Music Group follows the licensing agreement Spotify signed with WMG’s publishing division Warner Chappell back in January, which we predicted could pave the way to bring an end to the impasse. And now it has. While that only covered artists whose music had been published by Warner Chappell, the new one with WMG covers any artist who has recorded music while being signed to one of its many record labels, from Atlantic Records (Ed Sheeran) to Parlophone (Coldplay). If the artist you’ve been looking for on Spotify in India is signed to WMG, their songs should now be available on the platform.
Prior to this, Spotify — the world’s biggest subscription music streaming service with over 124 million paying members and 271 million monthly active users — had been severely hampered in one of the world’s biggest and fastest-growing markets, India, despite having several advantages over its international (Apple Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music) and domestic (JioSaavn, Gaana, Wynk) competitors. With the new WMG and Saregama deals, which adds millions of international and local songs to its catalogue, Spotify is now a music streaming service worth the subscription money in India.
In a joint prepared statement, the two newly-together parties said: “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 costs Rs. 59 (students), Rs. 119 (individuals), or Rs. 179 (families up to six accounts) per month in India.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article had stated the Saregama catalogue was still offline. Spotify later clarified that a resolution had been reached with Saregama, and its catalogue would be added. The article has been updated to reflect this.
Can Netflix force Bollywood to reinvent itself? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS. You can also download the episode or just hit the play button below.