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Spotify Removes Zee Music Songs. What is the Licensing Dispute?

The songs pulled down from Spotify include 'Apna Bana Le' from the hit film 'Bhediya.'

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Music
3 min read
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Spotify has removed the songs of Zee Music after negotiations for a renewal of their licensing agreement fell through, as per a report by Billboard. As a result, some highly-popular songs are no longer available on the platform. For instance, the No 1 track on Spotify in India over the past two weeks, ‘Apna Bana Le’ from Bhediya, has been removed. 

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Spotify’s statement 

Spotify told Billboard in a statement that Spotify and Zee Music have been unable to reach a licensing agreement. Spotify stated, “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.” 

What does it mean for Spotify? 

Zee Music had over two dozen tracks on Spotify’s Daily Top 200 Songs chart for India. So all these tracks will remain unavailable on the platform till a new agreement comes through.

The label, which is part of Zee Entertainment Enterprises, is one of India’s largest domestic record labels. It is the second-most-subscribed-to Indian music channel after T-Series. So, losing out on their songs will be a blow to the platform.

Songs that will be unavailable

Some of the songs that would be made unavailable will be ‘Maiyya Mainu’ from Jersey (2022), the title tracks from Kalank (2019) and Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas (2019), ‘Makhna’ from Drive (2019), and 'Zaalima' from Raees (2017) amongst others. 

Soundtracks to films distributed by sister company Zee Studios, such as the 2018 Veere Di Wedding and Gully Boy will also remain unavailable. 

Reactions from Spotify-users

The news has currently caused an uproar on social media platforms. One user tweeted, “Half of my Hindi albums are gone.” While another said, “Whatever drama zee and Spotify are having… I don’t want to be involved..please just put all my music back.” Some have also gone on to stop their subscription as a response to the news. 

Some other reaction include:

The songs pulled down from Spotify include 'Apna Bana Le' from the hit film 'Bhediya.'
The songs pulled down from Spotify include 'Apna Bana Le' from the hit film 'Bhediya.'
The songs pulled down from Spotify include 'Apna Bana Le' from the hit film 'Bhediya.'
The songs pulled down from Spotify include 'Apna Bana Le' from the hit film 'Bhediya.'

What’s next? 

As per Spotify’s statement,  they are currently trying to find a "creative solution" with Zee Music to make the songs available on the platform. However, nothing is known for certain.

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