Spotify Removes Indian Label Zee Music Company’s Catalog In Licensing Dispute
MUMBAI – Spotify has removed Indian record label Zee Music Company’s catalog after negotiations for a renewal of their licensing agreement fell through, Billboard has learned. As a result, the No.1 track on Spotify in India over the past two weeks, “Apna Bana Le” from the soundtrack to the 2022 Hindi film Bhediya, is no longer available on the platform.
“Spotify and Zee Music have been unable to reach a licensing agreement,” Spotify says in a statement sent to Billboard. “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.”
Anurag Bedi, the chief business officer at Zee Entertainment Enterprises, declined to comment.
Apart from Spotify, Zee Music Company is also absent from Gaana, which it disappeared from in 2022 only a few months before the Indian audio-streaming platform became a subscription-only service.
On March 14, the last day its releases could be streamed on Spotify, Zee Music had over two dozen tracks on Spotify’s Daily Top 200 Songs chart for India. These included long-running Bollywood hits such as “Maiyya Mainu” from Jersey (2022), the title tracks from Kalank (2019) and Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas (2019), “Makhna” from Drive (2019), “Namo Namo” from Kedarnath (2018) and “Zaalima” from Raees (2017).
The label’s catalog also includes soundtracks to films distributed by sister company Zee Studios, such as the 2018 rom-com Veere Di Wedding and the 2019 hip-hop-centric Gully Boy.
Zee Music Company, which is part of the Zee Entertainment Enterprises media conglomerate, is one of India’s largest domestic record labels. Its YouTube subscriber base of 93.6 million makes it the second most-subscribed-to Indian music channel after global leader T-Series, which boasts 239 million subscribers.