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.
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. Sure, Spotify still has to work on its local music tiff with Saregama, but with the WMG deal, it’s 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.
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