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Why are popular Bollywood tracks being removed from Spotify?

today24/03/2023 7

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Spotify users have been left confused from the removal of hundreds of Bollywood songs from their playlists, after the streaming platform reportedly removed the catalogue of Indian label Zee Music Company’s over a licensing dispute.

Soundtracks with millions of plays from movies such as Gully Boy, Bajirao Mastani and Ram-Leela, along with other fan favourites were among those removed.

This includes huge hits such as Apna Bana Le from the blockbuster film ‘Bhediya’, which was India’s most-streamed track on the service over the past few weeks.

Zee Music, which claims to be the second most popular label in India, has had a number of tracks on Spotify’s Daily Top 200 chart in the country — and is responsible for the release of more than 50% of new Bollywood music “year on year”, according a company statement.

Read this next: Spotify becomes first music streaming service to hit 200 million subscribers

In a statement to Billboard, Spotify said: “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.”

The streaming giant became the first music service to surpass 200 million paid subscribers, after hitting 205 million late last year. The platform launched in India in February 2019 and by April, it was reported to have more than two million active users in the country.

Read this next: Listen to Anish Kumar’s “East Meets West” playlist

Business Insider India reported that Spotify has seen a 1000% increase in the number of subscriptions in the market validating India as an incredibly vital market to sustain for the company’s growth.

Many users took to social media to express their disappointment in the sudden withdrawal of their favourite Bollywood tracks, some even threatening to abandon the platform for a different one.

See their reactions below.

Mixmag has contacted Zee Music Company for comment.

Vee Pandey is Mixmag’s Digital Trainee, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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