Spotify India Launch: Localised Google Play Screenshots Hint at Imminent Launch

Spotify is gearing up for a launch in India, as has been known for a few months, and further proof of that has now come from localised graphic assets and screenshots that can be seen on the app’s Google Play listing. The five images — some of them above — reference several Indian artists such as Nucleya, Shankar–Ehsaan–Loy, Clinton Cerejo, Diljit Dosanjh, Amit Trivedi, Nikhil D’Souza, Neuman Pinto, Neha Kakkar, Mika Singh, Kumar Sanu, Darshan Raval, Asees Kaur, and Lijo George. One screenshot shows an on-boarding screen wherein Spotify will ask Indian users what languages they listen in, with Hindi, English, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, and Kannada as the options listed.

Unfortunately for everyone, the “install” button is not yet live on Google Play. According to multiple reports, Spotify had originally planned to launch in India at the end of January, but that reportedly got pushed back because it was unable to sign deals with international labels. A report on Monday said that Spotify was planning to launch in India in “the next few weeks”, though a legal battle with Warner Music Group could potentially complicate matters.

Warner filed for an injunction Monday after Spotify decided to use a controversial section of India’s copyright law, a statutory licence that grants access to “broadcasters” to copyrighted material even without the permission of the owner. On Tuesday, the judge reportedly denied Warner’s request for an ad-interim injunction, but an injunction could still be granted at a later date. Spotify has reportedly been asked to deposit Rs. 6.5 crore with the Bombay High Court.

In a statement on Monday, Spotify said that Warner/Chappell Music, a division of the Warner Music Group, “remains the lone hold-out needed for a Spotify launch in India”. Warner Music represents artists such as Bruno Mars, Ed Sheeran, and Cardi B, but the nature of music publishing means that it also controls rights to the works of Katy Perry and Led Zeppelin.

Spotify’s upcoming launch can also be traced to the fact that it had reportedly stated a Mumbai address on its website back in January, which has since been taken down.


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