Spotify removes famous Bollywood songs from platform due to licensing dispute

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — Over two dozen famous Bollywood songs on music streaming platform Spotify have been removed.

As reported by music portal Billboard, Spotify removed Indian record label Zee Music Company's catalogue after negotiations for a renewal of their licensing agreement fell through.

The catalogue includes film soundtracks distributed through Zee Music’s sister company, Zee Studios.

This also includes the current number one track on India’s Spotify playlist Apna Bana Le, the soundtrack from 2022 Hindi film Bhediya as well as Maiyya Mainu, the soundtrack from 2022 Hindi film Jersey.

“Spotify and Zee Music have been unable to reach a licensing agreement.

“Throughout these negotiations, Spotify has tried to find creative ways to strike a deal with Zee Music and will continue our good faith negotiations in hopes of finding a mutually agreeable solution soon,” Spotify said in a statement to Billboard.

Zee Music, which had over two dozen tracks on Spotify’s Daily Top 200 Songs chart for India, was last seen on the platform on March 14.

The tracks included long-running Bollywood hits such as Makhna from 2019’s Drive, Namo Namo from 2018’s Kedarnath as well as track titles such as Kalank and Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas.

The songs' removal have taken Indian music lovers by surprise, with some of them taking to Twitter to share their disappointment.

“Eyes twitching, where are my bollywood songs, Spotify?” asked Twitter user @cherry.

“How am I going to romanticise my life if Spotify keeps taking off Bollywood songs,” added Twitter user @scracthedflower.

"What is up with Spotify randomly discontinuing numerous Bollywood albums at the same time? What are we supposed to listen to then?” asked Twitter user @isha.

Zee Music is the second most popular Indian music channel on YouTube with its subscriber base reaching over 93 million, behind global leader T-Series which has over 230 million subscribers.

Last year, it was reported that Zee Music cut ties with Indian commercial music streaming platform Gaana.