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BOOM Verified

'Kala Chashma' To 'Dilbaro', Spotify Removed Zee Music Songs Over Licensing

A Spotify spokesperson confirmed to BOOM that Bollywood songs by Zee Music had been removed from the audio streaming platform over licensing disagreements.

By - Surbhi Sharma | 22 March 2023 11:20 AM GMT

Audio streaming app Spotify removed Zee Music Company's songs from its catalogue after negotiations regarding the renewal of the licensing agreement failed to reach a mutual agreement. Fans of songs like 'Apna Bana Le' 'Kala Chasma', 'Zingaat', and other songs by Zee Music Company were left confused after they realised that their favourites were no longer available on the Spotify app for streaming.  

Spotify's spokesperson, in a statement to BOOM 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.”

A subsidiary of Zee Entertainment Enterprises, Zee Music Company has a huge base of 93.6 million subscribers on YouTube and is one of India's largest domestic music labels. 'Apna Bana Le' from Bhediya, 'The Hook Up Song' from Student Of The Year 2, ‘Maiyya Mainu’ from Jersey and 'Zaalima' from Raees were among the popular hits that have been taken down from the app because of the licensing dispute.

While some social media users weren't sure why the songs weren't available, others expressed their disappointment over the issue.




Spotify and other music platforms stream music by different publishers and artists under specific agreements and licenses. The term of the agreement may vary for different clients. If the agreement fails to be renewed by either party, the songs are taken down until the agreement is renewed.

This removal and reappearance of content isn't a new phenomenon for streaming platforms. Previously, Zee Music songs were also made unavailable on the Gaana app after the music streaming service switched to a paid subscription model in 2022.

In 2021, Spotify removed content from several comedians, including Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish and John Mulaney, over royalties and copyright disputes. 

In another license dispute in March 2021, songs distributed by Kakao were made unavailable on Spotify due to the expiration of their license. However, the two parties reached a global licensing agreement later, following which the K-pop releases were restored.

In 2022, artist Neil Young and India Arie asked Spotify to remove their songs and podcast to protest against podcast host Joe Rogan, for "spreading misinformation". 

While Spotify is trying to reach an agreement with Zee Music to restore its songs, the renewal of the licensing deal is not yet certain.