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Spotify launches in India amidst legal battle with Warner



Spotify rolls still in India, despite a legal challenge from Warner Music Group, currently holding major artists from its release arm like Cardi B from the platform. A number of people in India say they have been able to download the app on Android and sign up for an account, even though Spotify has not formally announced the availability of the service.

Spotify's first announced plans to expand into the Indian market back in March 2018, but has been subjected to repeated delays due to the unique nature of India's music rights marketplace. Scores of local Indian labels and publishers make it challenging to draw all rights together, there are several regional languages ​​to contend with, and only a small percentage of Indians have a credit card.

But the biggest delay was an agreement with Warner's publishing department, Warner / Chappell Music, which fell apart at the last minute. According to Spotify, Warner "has revoked a previously agreed release license for reasons not related to Spotify's launch in India."

Yesterday, Warner sought to stop Spotify's use of his catalog, which Spotify had attempted to gain rights through a controversial amendment to the Indian Copyright Law that allows broadcasters to obtain licenses without the consent of the copyright holder. The essence of this is whether Spotify falls under the umbrella of "TV broadcaster" in India's Copyright Act of 1

957. In the act, a "broadcast" is only defined as "communication to the public."


Pictures: Ishan Agarwal

Bombays Supreme Court said Spotify would still be allowed to launch at present according to The Times of India and it seems Spotify wasted no time to do just that . It seems that if Spotify chooses to stream Warner's music in the meantime, Spotify will be required to track the use of Warner's music and set aside money to pay royalties while the case continues through the courts. Spotify is currently in India, but without the Warner / Chappell Music catalog, which hosts many of the world's greatest artists.

Spotife's price structure offers much more payment flexibility than other markets. The service can cost as little as 99 rupees ($ 1.39 USD) per day. Month for one year plan. But the service also offers the opportunity to buy a single day of access to 13 rupees ($ 0.18), one week for 39 rupees ($ 0.55) and one month for 129 rupees ($ 1.81), among others plans. A study plan gives up to 50 percent discount per month. From now on, the only payment accepted for subscriptions appears to be Visa or Mastercard, but it is also possible to use Paytm or UPI to purchase the prepaid plans.

According to Business Insider India Premium membership is only available to existing Spotify users. New users can still sign up for the free version, but have to wait to access premium benefits like higher quality audio and unlimited tracks jumps.

Ishan Agarwal from Gurgaon, India, tweeted a screenshot of the Spotify Premium shopping screen in India this morning. Agarwal gave other pictures to The Verge showing the checkout page showing Spotify India URL along with a sample of music displayed in the app. Categories include pop, rock and indie, along with India-specific genres as Tamil and Bollywood. At the bottom of the app screen there is a message saying, "We're working hard to get more music on Spotify in your region."

A number of people on Reddit also wrote that they could access the service on Android. Others who are already Spotify customers have been able to access the purchase page by changing the country in connection with their profile to India.

We have reached Spotify and Warner Music for comment.

Update February 26, 12:40 ET: This story has been updated to note that Warner & # 39; s music is currently not streaming in India.


Image: Ishan Agarwal


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