Update on the changes to our music catalogue

Today we completed all the changes to our music catalogue that we announced last week.

We’ve attempted to replace the affected tracks in your playlists with versions of the same song that you can play, if no replacements could be found we have hidden the tracks from the playlist. If you’d like to view which tracks are unplayable in your playlists you can do so by going to the preferences menu and un-checking “Hide Unplayable tracks” and then press the Apply button.


We’d also like to thank all of the users who have shown us support in the past week and we will double our efforts to try and win back any users who were understandably disappointed by these changes.


  1. Just a tips – the replacement function isn´t as good as one think.

    Try a common search for the same song instead and you will find replacements instead!

  2. Almost all european trance is gone…

    Me and some friends had a shared playlist where we put all the nice trance… Now over half the list is gone…

    This can’t be right? Are they _gone_ gone, or just not availible to Norway?

  3. I’m certainly not going to upgrade to Premium now, this library is so crippled I’m not even sure I want to use Spotify anymore.
    The record industry has totally lost touch, as if that wasn’t completely obvious before.

  4. I think the people at spotify really need to talk to the record companies about the big problem with region restrictions, wich is just stupid!

  5. I agree with lunatico. Big parts of my playlists have been erased just because of this region restrictions.

  6. A feature request:

    Please add option for random play from cache. When you’re traveling with a laptop and are using slow GPRS or similar connection which is enough for authentication but not actually streaming the content. It’d be neat to be able to listen the tracks only from cache.

    P.S. I know this is not the proper place, but I’m not willing to register to the outside forums spotify is using.

  7. I know it isn’t your fault, and that’s sad because Spotify is an excellent way to meet the labels in the piracy question..

    Due to the loss of many favorites I do really consider if I should upgrade to premium or not.. I really like Spotify, but I want to know if it has a future or not. And we can’t accept limitations by regions in such a program. I think the labels are very wrong in this question which makes me support piracy even more.

  8. I work fairly close with the music industry and issues of regionality and territory restrictions come up all the time, so I can kind-of understand some of the localised removals.

    That being said: I know that I can’t really any kind of response, but is there any particular reason why The Mountain Goats’ first album All Hail West Texas (self-produced and released 7 years ago, primarily recorded on a regular tape recorder) is no longer available? Especially since 8 other albums and EPs are available? Some of these deletions seem utterly random.

    I’;m really hoping this was just an overzealous first sweep and some accidental deletions will be restored.

  9. large amounts of the music I listen to is now red and unreplaceable…mostly music I have problems finding any way to buy… like in one list i have 4 albums from 1 artist.. the two that are on itunes are still available are the same as can be found on itunes.. the two others that ive not been able to aquire legally are not…

    whats the point in using spotify now then? really…

  10. Since I recently started using spotify I loved it, I warmly recomended it to my friends.

    Im sorry to say that now when 95% of my playlist turned red, spotify went from godlike to useless. I was 100% sure that I would move on to a “premium” service once my Bredbandsbolaget free time was up, but now I most certenly will not.

    I know it’s not your fault (the guys and girs at Spotify) but Im just so disapointed at the record labels for forcing you to do this. They are shooting themselves in the foot…

  11. So why is it that after the removals were finished already i find nik kershaw and beck tracks gone today that i added yesterday

  12. The effects were worse than I thought they would be. In one of my playlists half of the tracks disappeared :(
    Any hope that tracks will reappear anytime soon?

  13. About 60-70% of my mostly electronic / dance playlist is red :( 40 tracks could not be replaced. I understand Spotify is forced to do this, but it seems a bit dishonest to launch with a much larger selection of tracks, get people to pay for premium subscriptions for up to a year in advance, then radically cut the catalogue…

    My playlist included three tracks from the album “In Ghost Colours” by Cut Copy which were showing red, it appears the copy of the album I had added them from was not available in the UK. However it seems there is another copy of this album with all the same tracks which is playable? What’s going on here?

  14. Same thing with Kate Nash – I had added a track from the album “Made of Bricks” which is now showing unplayable in the UK. This version of the album has 12 tracks:

    However here’s another version of the same album with 13 tracks which is available:

  15. What the hell, did they roll out another track update because come today I’ve now got 75 tracks I’m unable to replace in one of my main playlists. Jesus.

  16. The replacement finding function seems to miss a few things – e.g. it couldn’t find a replacement for ‘The Bomb’ by The Bucketheads from the album Vintage FG. However there is a working copy of this track labelled ‘The Bomb! (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)’ which can be found by manual searching.

  17. They really need to start fixing this region restriction issue, and fast…alot of people are leaving this service.

  18. Most of the music I listen to is gone. Shame really, guess its time to start downloading again something I had stopped doing since I got Spotify. My premium account is also void, will start paying again if the music is returned.

    Seems like the music industry does not want my money. Thats fine by me. Its a shame really as piracy is much more of a hazzle than Spotify was, but I WILL NOT start buying drm protected shit.

    So long and thanks for all the fish.

  19. I lost two thirds of my tracks.

    I was seriously thinking of subscribing to premium before the purge, but something nagged at the back of my mind telling me this service was too good to be true.

    Guess that the nagging feeling was right. No chance of going premium now, that’s for sure.

    Country restrictions? That is so monumentally stupid it boggles the mind.

    Once again the music industry is unable to recognize a good thing.

    I am not spending ANY cash on music or movies ever again unless the industry shows signs of wising up, and stop giving their customers grief like this.

    Am I disappointed? Yeah, you might say that.

  20. The upside to this stupidity is that spotify isn’t the holy grail of legal, online music. Why is this good?

    Because before this, Spotify was too brilliant. I was willing to go premium down the line, the fee is very reasonable. The record labels would’ve gotten income and the need for piracy was going down.

    Now with this, I can just go back to stealing music instead to replace the tracks I’ve lost. Seeing half the albums on “top lists” in red is also amazingly annoying.

    Spotify; Close but no cigar.

  21. Lost about 100 of 200 tracks, almost all electronic music is gone…

    ALL the music, ALL the time is the only thing that can compete with piracy in the long run, We will always find the music one way or another anyway.

  22. Oh well, this means I’m off Spotify. We had a good run, and it was a lot of fun. I’ll maybe be back but won’t be spending my listening hours with Spotify anymore. The library just isn’t sufficient.

  23. Logging off! Probably already someone who’s made a comment about this. But here goes anyway. There’s nothing more annoying than having to look at what you can’t get/use.

    This is also a problem I’ve noticed with youtube, alot of music that’s not currently available in my region. Instead of just omitting it from my search-result all together. A pain! I know you aren’t allowed to play me that music, but do you really have to slap it in my face? It adds bloat. If you can make it the color red, you can just as easily remove from the result-set. I will not be using Spotify until problems likes these have been resolved!

  24. farbrain: I suggested a few weeks ago on the forum that Spotify should hide what you can’t play, as the worst thing ever is seeing what you can’t have. However they weren’t very responsive to the idea. I think they are caught in a dilemma. It’s unpopular for users to find tracks they can’t play, but maybe it’s even worse to hide the tracks and expose how limited the catalogue really is.

  25. @digithed:

    1. Firstly why different ownership in different territories?

    Independent labels sub licence to labels in different countries as they rarely have the resource, local knowledge or financial backing to market artists/releases in multiple territories. Imagine trying to promote an artist/album in a country where you have no contacts, no local knowledge and don’t speak the language.

    In addition sometimes the Artist (via their Manager) will sign deals with different labels in different territories who they think will do the best job locally.

    The sub licensee (local label) pays a fee to the original label to release the product in there territory and therefore should be paid by Spotify (or any other) plays/sales in that territory.

    The sublicense system benefits the labels & artists as they receive a lump sum which they can reinvest in new artists and the artist can pay his rent for the month. I’d argue it also benefits the consumer as the artist gets more exposure locally and therefore more opportunity for fans to get music and perhaps see live dates.

    This is changing in the new digital world with some labels trying to hold on to worldwide rights and do it themselves but there will always be a need for local marketing and promotion to get an artist out there so I think sublicensing will be around for a while yet.

    2. Why the Spotify takedowns.

    As far as I can see lots of labels have put up music suggesting there own it for the ‘World’ and don’t OR Spotify have not applied territory info provided by the label – perhaps it’s a bit of both.

    I also notice there are lots of compilations included in the cull. This is because these compilations are usually on 3rd party labels which don’t necessarily have the right to put these tracks on a service like Spotify (for a similar example see iTunes where many compilation tracks are bundle only).

    Many artists/labels don’t want compilations getting the revenue (rather than artist albums) as it puts another middle man in the way and the artist ends up getting a lot less.

    3. So where does that leave us.

    Well I know for a fact labels in the UK are very excited about Spotify and as the *correct* licence holders do deals and get product delivered all the missing stuff will come back quickly (and shed loads of new stuff too).

    I for one don’t want to kill the industry; I want the right people get paid for the stuff I listen to. I support Spotify for doing the right thing, supporting the artist and trying to ensure that there is a way for artists who make quality music to make a living so they can keep making quality music I can enjoy in the future.

  26. @grubber: I hear everything you are saying but I still don’t understand the business decisions behind what the labels are doing. They cannot uninvent the internet and digital distribution of music, legally or illegally, is here to stay. If they put their artists on Spotify they get some money, it may not be as much as they would like but it’s surely better than no money which is what they get when people download illegally. Putting artists material on Spotify does not mean that they should stop selling CDs or selling tracks on iTunes, it is complimentary and a new possible revenue stream. It’s for this reason that I cannot understand why all the record labels in all lands aren’t falling over themselves to get their artists on Spotify and get paid.

    Your comment about the compilation albums is made worse by the labels themselves. If I search for an artist on Spotify often their own albums are not playable in my country but many of the tracks on the albums are available on compilations. I would much rather play the original album if, as you say, this means that the artist gets more money. But what choice do I have if I want to listen to that artist, and who’s fault is that?

    Your post is just a collection of excuses for why the labels act the way they do. But they have had more than 10 years since they killed Napster to change their business model for a digital market and appear to have done next to nothing apart from make the same excuses that you have made. “Oh dear it’s hard to change the system we have and we can’t be bothered”, is the impression I get from the record labels. They are the cause of the situation which is making it harder for artists to earn an honest living because they are not marketing and packaging their artists material into a product that anyone wants to buy anymore.

  27. @digithed

    I won’t rise to your condescending tone.

    It’s simply a matter of sorting out data and being patient as contracts are signed and content uploaded.

    With regards to product availability, from what I can see in the UK, Spotify have content from the four majors and a few large independents (the majority of compilations are released by majors). Spotify have done blanket deals with independent labels very recently and I’m sure they are doing the same all over the world. I think you will start seeing the fruits of these deals soon and will probably go a long way to fill these gaps.

    Napster was killed because the people it benefited was Napster and users not content owners or creators. You can argue some artists got exposure, sold some CDs but CD’s are dying fast and if you’re a studio artist then basically you got nothing but a bunch of people saying “gee I like your stuff”, which is nice but doesn’t pay the bills so you give up and go and get a proper job.

    Spotify is a fantastic alternative (although they really need to offer downloads or links to downloads until they have mobile offering) to piracy and unfortunately they’ve had to make some corrections, subscribers are rightfully upset (I’ve no idea how free users can have a beef) but they are trying to make sure the right people get paid.

    Spotify is new, the free service is still in beta and has yet to reach the masses its just not possible to get everything sorted overnight.

    I suggest if there is an artist of which you are a fan take some direct action – maybe email the label or artist and ask when they will be delivering to Spotify and if not why not.

  28. @grubber: Sorry if I sounded condescending my anger is directed towards the record labels and not to you personally.

    However, I still stand by my original argument… Who benefits from removing content from Spotify and imposing regional restrictions? Do the labels benefit? Do the artists benefit? Does Spotify benefit? Do the customers benefit? Does anyone benefit?
    Does anyone lose any money except for Spotify’s premium subscribers who now get less for their money than before and Spotify themselves who are losing paying customers as a result of this.
    What logic is behind these changes on the part of the labels and artists. Nothing you have said has given me any kind of “Aha” moment where I suddenly think “Ah, now I understand why they are doing this”.

  29. @digithed

    You’re rightfully peeved if you’ve paid for a service that has been degraded. I’m surprised there has been no offer of compensation? a complimentary month or something?

    I agree removing content isn’t a great answer but basically Spotify were offering music they didn’t have rights to so had to pull it until they do.

    They could have left the content there and pay money to people who shouldn’t get it (major labels via compilations for example) but they realise that for this to succeed it needs to be a win/win for everyone… Spotify, users, artists, content owners and advertisers on the free service.

    In the long run doing it properly will deliver a win/win, generate trust from artists, content owners and advertisers and lead to a bigger & better service.

  30. ZYX Records, Memory Records, Hotsound Records with Laserdance, Koto… all the good 80’s Italo disco is gone!

    There was not much, but now there is nothing! Can we hope it shows up again? Please, I beg you to try.

  31. Most of the songs by S.P.O.C.K are gone as well. I’ve listened to some of their songs for years and on Spotify I found many of their songs I hadn’t heard before. Oh, the joy!

    Now they’re gone and I don’t know where to find them elsewhere.

  32. Mm.. 1/4 of the music are gone, and I paid for premium 2 days before with a complete list :(
    I lost Aqua, Ultrabeat, Sash!, Rozalla, Jan Hammer, 4 Strings :(

    Can you please put up a more through list of blocked artists/labels. Especially any labels that are “uncooperative” so we as consumers can give our view on the problem directly to them?

  33. Dear Record industry
    WTF , country restrictions if i buy a CD (wich will never ever happen again) would I be free to travel with it abroad?

    Since i travel quite a lot the country restrictions in Spotify affects me a lot, my playlist keep changing all the time depending on my location.
    Please remove it, let us stream to XBOX360, squeezebox, etc, and i will go premium , and im not the only one.
    Untill then torrents are still free….

  34. Sorry but has anyone else had troubles on a mac with the new update. Have tried downloading the latest version as it suggests, and changing my proxy settings but its of no use, fails the update and cannot log in.

  35. I always lose my playlists.
    Like, the whole entire thing. All the time.
    I always lose connection for about two hours,
    and it always stops half way through to buffer for about, two hours.
    Is it just my laptop?