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Apple Music, Spotify to get Tips’s Hindi catalogue via Warner deal

Tips Music has signed a distribution deal with Warner Music to distribute music to international streaming platforms, the label announced on October 2. Apple Music and Spotify will be the only platforms in India that will receive Tips’s Hindi-language catalogue as a part of this deal. Tips Managing Director Kumar Taurani told MediaNama that the deal would also cover several streaming platforms like Deezer and Anghami, which are not available in India. Warner Music’s Alternate Distribution Alliance will distribute Tips content outside India, Taurani said.

Tips’s catalogue includes a repertoire of devotional as well as Bollywood music, from films like Pardes, Race, and Kismat Konnection.  While Tips said has said it has had significant success on YouTube, it has not distributed music on streaming platforms like Spotify too readily in the past. Aside from YouTube, Tips has only signed on ByteDance’s Resso, JioSaavn, and Amazon Music, whereas Wynk has a license for less recent music, according to a company spokesperson. The Warner deal does not include non-Hindi music, Taurani told us.

Taurani had told us in May that since labels get paid per stream, and streaming companies generally don’t feature older music prominently, they demanded minimum guarantees that some streaming services refused to pay. This was why Gaana and Tips Music couldn’t arrive at an agreement to keep their deal going.

Tips likely benefited Warner Music indirectly in the past. Streaming service Wynk once tried to use a so-called “statutory license” to stream music that it did not buy the rights to from Tips, something that was technically allowed in a Copyright Act amendment with little equivalence in other countries. Tips successfully challenged Wynk at the Bombay High Court. Spotify tried the exact same thing with Warner Music’s catalogue, and after the Tips ruling came out, Spotify likely faced short odds of victory. They ultimately pulled out of the suit and signed a deal with Warner.

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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