Warner/Chappell Music (WCM) has been backed by The International Confederation of Music Publishers (ICMP) in its ongoing licensing spat with Spotify India.
John Phelan, Director General, ICMP said in a statement, “Music publishers worldwide work in the interest of all creators and will fight for appropriate remuneration for all licensed use of their work. At the heart of this problem is the inappropriate use of music and the subsequent undervaluation of songwriters – Indian and international. ICMP and its members express their full support of Warner/Chappell Music in its actions.”
ICMP is the global trade body representing the interests of the music publishing community. The constituent members of ICMP are music publishers’ associations from Europe, Middle East, North and South America, Africa and Asia-Pacific. Included are the leading independent multinational and international companies and regional and national music publishers, mainly SMEs, throughout the world.
The Warner-Spotify fight
Warner Chappell Music (WCM), the music publishing division of Warner Music Group (WMG) had filed an injunction to stop Spotify from using its catalog of songs in India. WCM had filed an injunction at the Bombay High Court on 25 February 2019 after Spotify India claimed a statutory license usually applied to TV and radio.
Spotify India launched on 26 February 2019, after the Bombay High Court denied the emergency injunction request by Warner Chappel Music. The statutory license is yet to be granted and the court has deferred WCM’s application for the injunction, although on the day of the launch, Spotify India was directed by the Bombay High Court to deposit Rs. 6.5 crore after a suit for infringement was filed by music publisher Warner/Chappell.
Spotify is available in India with an ad-supported free-subscription tier, as well as premium tiers. For the first time ever, Spotify India has adopted a ‘pay-as-you-go streaming model’ wherein users can pay for a single day’s access to its ad-free Premium tier. Since its launch, Spotify India has announced that it has clocked up more than 1 mn unique users across its free and premium tier services. Spotify has a global user base of 207 mn out of which 96 mn have subscribed to their premium service.