Spotify Hit By Licensing Restrictions

On-demand music streaming service Spotify has been forced to remove songs from its catalog and restrict access to some tracks in certain countries.

The Swedish-based service has won plaudits for its smooth delivery of streamed tracks and user-friendly interface. However, it has been obliged to restrict the availability of some music in different territories, describing the restrictions in a statement as "a legacy from when most music was sold on tapes and CDs."

The statement adds that some of the music on Spotify had been delivered by mistake, as the artists did not want their music on a streaming service. It did not identify which artists had been removed from the service. A spokeswoman estimated that, seeing as the service was adding more tracks this week, it would not be down by more than 10,000 tracks overall.

"In order to respect the decisions of the artist we now have to remove those tracks," said the statement. "We have not lost any licenses and no labels have stopped working with us, this is just a matter of updating our catalog to be in line with the agreements we actually have."

Spotify has agreements with all four majors and various indies. A free version, with rights holders compensated by audio adverts, is available in Sweden, Norway, Finland, the U.K., France and Spain, although users need an invite. A paid model, with one-day and premium monthly access, is also available.

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