Some important changes to the Spotify music catalogue

Next week we are going to be making some changes to our music catalogue that we feel are important to communicate clearly. Unfortunately we are going to be removing a number of songs from our catalogue and adding country restrictions to some tracks, which may make them unplayable for you.

Why are we doing this?

The changes are being made so that we implement all the proper restrictions that are required by our label deals. Some tracks will be restricted from play in certain countries, this means that if you share tracks with friends who are in other countries it’s possible that they won’t be able to listen to them. The reason for this is that our agreements contain strict rules as to what tracks can and can’t be played in various countries that we are now capable of implementing. These restrictions are a legacy from when most music was sold on tapes and CDs and they have continued over into streaming music, our hope is that one day restrictions like this will disappear for good.

Additionally, some of the music that has been delivered to us had been delivered by mistake even though the artist did not want their music to be included in a streaming service. In order to respect the decisions of the artist we now have to remove those tracks. We have not lost any licenses and no labels have stopped working with us, this is just a matter of updating our catalogue to be in line with the agreements we actually have. In hindsight it would have been better to remove this in October when we launched publicly, we realize this now and apologize to you for not doing it sooner.

How will this affect you?

A number of the tracks that you’ve listened to previously will no longer be available for streaming, these tracks have already been removed from the search function. If you have some of these songs in playlists we will try to automatically replace those songs with versions from albums that we are not removing so you don’t lose the song. If there is no replacement available then the song will appear in red on your playlists.

What’s next?

From this point on there are no plans to remove any more music and our catalogue will only grow from here. We already have music from all the major labels and a vast majority of the independent labels licensed, between them we have millions of tracks that we still can add into Spotify. Now it’s a matter of importing that music into our system, which we are doing on an ongoing basis in an effort to add thousands of albums a week. We continue to work hard to sign deals with more labels and will work with the labels we have signed to fill the holes in our catalogue.

Our dream is to create a music experience where users can play whatever music they want, whenever they want, it may take awhile but we will keep working at it. Please feel free to leave any questions you may have on the blog or join the conversation on our forum if you require more information.


  1. Listners, developers, and other involved in the spotify section are sad about this. Homweaver, why this happens is economical. The artists and labels are iself sad for this. The problems is not lying in the labels, it is because some of the artists wan’t and need to get pay to live with their music. It’s not free as artist to write tracks, have gigs and promote your tracks. The artist must grant their rights to gain the money to hold them alive, or they won’t make any new music in future.
    I procedure music myself under the name drsounds, and need better equipment to make the music. To make it possible, i may be needed to sell my tracks to get the money so I can buy that synth, computers or whatever I need to upgrade to make music.
    Peoples point the proper debt of the problem to the labels. It’s not. It is the poor anvailiblity of resources they have.

  2. I applaud Samuel, and Sony, for answering question here. That’s professionalism. Only wish Warp would do the same.

  3. drsounds: I’m sorry but I don’t follow your reasoning. The choice for the artists and the labels is simple. Be on Spotify and earn some money that you otherwise would not have earned or don’t be on Spotify and don’t earn that money. Both the free and premium versions of Spotify pay artists per play of their tracks. As an artist, if you are not available on Spotify it only increases the chances that your tracks will be pirated. At least if you are on Spotify you have the chance to earn some money. Why would any artist not want to be on Spotify and why would any responsible label representing an artist not make this easy to do?

  4. I loved spotify from day 1 and I thought: “finally a BETTER option than all the piracy stuff. Finally the piracy debate can die in peace! :O”
    But now the screwed the whole thing over. Why the hell would anyone pay for a product that has much less to offer than the CD-store or the piracy options and so on… Spotify is right now completely useless. Hope you fix it somehow

  5. Noooooooo!

    95% of my “Dance, Trance and Eurotechno” list is gone?!! Spotify was truly great, but now my favourite genre is almost empty. Tried too search for dancehits from the 90’s but almost no hits! I’m cancelling my premium account…

  6. yes all the dance/trance music is gone.
    canceling my subcription…
    this sucks.

  7. i agree with pomac. I really missed the ability to sync with my ipod touch, but i discovered a lot of new interesting artists.
    I’m going back to mp3. It’s not a political statement, i’m still going to buy my music if possible. The record companies MUST realize that it´s 2009, that the CD is dead, that people have their music in a mp3 player smaller than a wallet with 120.000+ tracks on it. I’m NOT going premium with spotify.

  8. This is disappointing, I open up Spotify this morning to find that 80% of the things I have playlisted have disappeared. The catalogue has been crippled, there’s not even any De La Soul FFS! Tribe Called Quest has been crippled (all hits arent available), Antipop consortium – all gone, the list goes on. I was waiting on Squeezebox integration to go Premium but thats sure as hell not happening now. Spotify have messed up here, it wouldn’t have been half as bad if this stuff hadn’t been available in the first place but to take it away after a couple of months is annoying and more than a little bit suspicious. I believe we’ve all been played here. Back to mp3 for me.

  9. That sucks. You better solve this problem, ’cause it looks like your losing subscribers. Make some kind of deal with the labels your working with, asap.

  10. I’m sorry to see that my playlists now is a fragment what they used to be. My trance and chillout list is almost annihilated. More than 75 percent of the stuff is gone.

    I’ll give this some time, but I rarely use Spotify anymore. I just cant find my music anymore and I’m back to my collection of mp3-files again.

    It’s sad days, because I was a real Spotify junkie. Just loved it. The best thing that’s happened to Internet since Internet itself, until the record industry f****d it up.

  11. Great.
    I had around 89 tracks added to my list.
    Now i got 3 left, Fucking great
    I seems that 80% of all the good trance is gone
    Going back to DL again.

  12. Are there any country that these legislations are not covering? If so, open up spotify there, and offer proxy servers for free…

    Not surprised that record companies are complaining these days, if they stay conservative like this, they should have a hard time and in the end go bankrupt, that’s what happens to a business when it’s run by stupid people.

  13. I think it’s such a shame that a potentially industry changing software has come unstuck like this. I’ve been using spotify for a while and in that time I’ve bought more records legally and stopped downloading illegally. Spotify gave me a chance to explore other artitsts in my preferred genre and really reinvigorated my enthusiasm for music. I think its unbelievable that record companies cannot see the huge benefits of the software – we live in a globalised world and its about time these country restrictions were things of the past. Why not embrace innovation and make the most of it instead of fight it? I also can’t understand why some artists are against putting music online. Surely it’s in their interest for their music to be exposed to as many people as possible and I’d love to have a list of the anti-online brigade so I can avoid purchasing their music at all costs.

    I really hope that the music that music industry comes to its senses sooner rather than later!!

  14. Like any new idea, it will take time for Spotify and the music industry to find there feet, stopping your support for Spotify is as bad as not backing up your complaints and just walking away.
    Its still a great idea and will only work with its followers and the right attitued.
    I still enjoy it and look forward to better times, if your fav song is missing, try somthing else – or isent that the essence of the idea?

  15. We can see copies of famous artworks everywhere for free but we pay to see them in a gallery…Just as I would pay for a gig ut not an overpriced album.

  16. I am so tired of the record company’s restriction rules…
    As a Swedish inhabitant who mostly listen to japanese music I feel so enormously restricted when it comes to buying the music legaly, I can’t buy them from itunes because i don’t live in asia, I probably won’t be able to listen to them on spotify because of record companys restriction orders. My only alternative is import the CD’s. More and more japanese artists go on tours outside asia, and its popularity grows bigger and bigger everyday, but with regional restrictions on legal services they only slow down the bands and artists abilities to grow outside their own country. It does not make sense at all. If I have the ability to buy a real pressed physical cd of a japanese store and have it shipped to sweden, then why can’t I do the same with a digital version of an album over the internet?.

  17. Spottify is amazing – well done guys for creating a brilliant solution.

    Licensing restrictions are just part of life and not much can be done – Movies are released in different countries at different times. It is a backwards system but the distributors like to keep control – and after all its their product

    I can see this platform growing to rival I tunes. Things you need to add to keep growing

    Buy – mp3 tracks – same price as I tunes. believe it or not – some people still use Ipods and CD’s to listen to music – your missing a HUGE revenue stream.

    maybe an Uber account that lets you download unlimited music for £50 a month that you can burn etc.

    perhaps a pop up advert rather than audio adverts..

    Great work guys – keep it up :)

  18. The blog says: “From this point on there are no plans to remove any more music and our catalogue will only grow from here.”

    This doesn’t seem to be true. Last week (I guess) more albums were removed from Spotify (Finland). Sadly, my favourite artist was among them.

  19. Truly NOT cool…

    As I really liked the option of not using iTunes etc. I wanted to spread the word… I purchased three 6-month premium vouchers (total approx €180) as X-mas gifts for close friends and relatives and my father was amongst these. As he was mostly listening to older Swedish contemporary music and jazz we were amazed of the coverage Spotify had, and things were promised to get even better.

    Sadly, almost useless for him now and the others receiving my gifts are not using Spotify any more. I would like to know your policy for paying customers when this happens. Seriously, you can’t blame the labels as this was no surprise but rather false marketing it turns out…

  20. I understand the problem, but it would be useful to know which tracks are involved, so why can’t they appear as normal but highlighted (in a colour ?) as unplayable. We would then know.

  21. This is so sad, I just subscribed a couple of minutes ago, wanting to invite my girlfriend living in another EU country… which appeared not to be listed in the possible countries!!! :-( Funny though, just earlier this week we listened to Spotify Free in her country with my credentials, no problem.

  22. one stupid thing is that you can find your music back from other label :D that is just stupid or what?

    you need to know where that album was released and share only from the album witch is free for some other country, so use that search tool before share.. as stupid is it.

  23. this is stupid. don’t the record labels realise that by removing their music from Spotify, everyone is losing out, no-one gains from it. the listeners are losing out because they won’t be able to listen to the music, the artists are losing out because their music will get out to less people, and the labels are losing out because i presume they get some sort of license fee out of it, and all they are doing is encouraging more and more people to illegally download, which they get no money from at all. A lot of people would perhaps preview the album on Spotify and then buy it if they like it. With illegal downloading, many people wouldn’t buy the album afterwards as they already have it on their computer and can burn a CD of it or put it on their MP3 player if they want to listen to it elsewhere, thus making actually buying the album, in their eyes, unnecessary.

    I would go on about how labels don’t want people to enjoy the music they release, just make money, but this makes no sense from a musical or business point-of-view.

  24. So,
    When will I be able to play my local stored music together with the tracks Spotify can offer?
    I will gladly pay for that option. (premium user)

  25. Spotify is a great thing as long as it respects the artists. By respecting I mean if an artist wishes their music not to be on Spotify then that is their legal right. As long as Spotify acknowledges the wishes of the artists involved then I don’t see any reason why there shouldn’t be a blossoming relationship between them.
    If anyone here disagrees that musicians rights should be respected, please chime in.

  26. I insalled Spotify from your own website, and it now appears to have been deleted. At the same time, some other software (Roxio GoBack) was disabled – I assume this was part of the process which uninstalled Spotify. If this is the case, you have acted illegally, by removing data from my PC which was not licensed to you, but was my property. I would like you to return the data which you remove from my PC without my consent. Now. Please respond.

  27. Labels an artists just dont get it… As Premium Spotify users, we allready pay for what we listen to. And if they don’t give us access to the music we pay for legally, we’ll just go back to bad old habits. Both the artist and the label won’t benefit from that…

  28. is there any way we can get an automated message sent to us when songs from our playlists are no longer available to listen to??

  29. A bunch of Tiesto tracks and albums have recently become unavailable…they were some of my favourite tracks! Anyone know what’s going on here?