Spotify Removes Indian Label Zee Music Company’s Catalog in Licensing Dispute
The songs pulled include "Apna Bana Le" from the hit film "Bhediya," which was the most-streamed track on the service over the past two weeks.
MUMBAI – Spotify has removed Indian record label Zee Music Company’s catalog after negotiations for a renewal of their licensing agreement fell through. 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.
In addition to Spotify, Zee Music is also absent from Gaana, which it cut ties with in 2022, a few months before the audio-streaming platform became a subscription-only service. became a subscription-only service.
On March 14, the last day its catalog 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, which is part of Zee Entertainment Enterprises, 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.