In a report from Bloomberg in late 2018, it was reported that Spotify was set to enter the music streaming market in India in early 2019. Now, it seems those plans may have to be delayed as the platform faces challenges from one of the big three music labels, Warner Music Group.
According to a newer report from Bloomberg, Warner has asked the courts in India to block music from its songwriting roster from playing in the country. Spotify was on track to secure a license for Warner’s music, but “the streaming company ‘abruptly changed course’ by falsely saying that a rule applicable to broadcasters applies to Spotify as well, Warner Music Group said in a statement.”
The reality of the situation seems to stem from issues with Warner’s publishing arm, Warner/Chappell Music. Warner’s record label, which represents Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran and Cardi B, is different from its publishing arm, which represents Katy Perry (who is signed to Universal’s label).
Previously in 2018, Warner completed the liquidation of all shares in Spotify. However, label CEO Stephen Cooper said the “sale has nothing to do with our view of Spotify’s future. We’re hugely optimistic about the growth of subscription streaming, we know it has only just begun to fulfill its potential for global scale.”
Still, this lawsuit in India stand at ends with that previous statement.
After news of the lawsuit came out, Spotify shares were down as much as 1 percent in New York trading.