Is there anything worse than getting in the mood for a particular song, or a certain artist, then being unable to listen to it?
Of course, there is, but that doesn’t mean this problem isn’t annoying! And it can seriously ruin a party or a road trip.
It might be even more annoying if you’re paying for premium. So read on to find out what you can do if you see this error message on your Spotify.
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Why The Content is Not Available
Spotify has never actually openly stated all the reasons why a song or podcast may be ‘not available’ or grayed out, but we can whittle it down to the most likely causes.
Usually, this message showing when you try and play a song is just an error, and can easily be remedied using one of the fixes listed later in the article.
However, sometimes, songs and podcasts are restricted by region, and can therefore only be listened to in certain parts of the world.
And finally, it might be due to license expiration. The agreements that Spotify draws up with record companies have expiration dates, and if the licenses aren’t renewed in time, then the content can no longer be streamed.
How to Fix it
How you go about fixing this issue will largely depend on the reason you’re seeing the ‘Content Not Available’ message in the first place.
Unfortunately, Spotify won’t give you an explicit reason as to why you’re getting the error, so it’s best to try these fixes one by one until something works!
Update the App
First of all, check you’re running the latest version of Spotify, to ensure the software is up to date.
It may be that your app is suffering from a bug that got ironed out in the latest update – but if you haven’t updated, you won’t see the benefits. Moreover, keeping the app updated is a sure shot way of avoiding in-app glitches and sluggishness.
Reinstall the App
Regardless of whether you listen on a PC/Mac, or mobile device, uninstalling and reinstalling the app can make a world of difference to Spotify’s performance. It will also wipe out any runtime errors.
Follow the steps for uninstalling the app that are relevant to your device, then restart your device.
When you’re back up and running again, reinstall the app and see if the content is now available.
Check for Region Restrictions/License Expiration
There are a couple of ways you can deduce exactly why certain content is not available. Firstly, you can check/uncheck a setting option called ‘Show Unplayable Songs’ in Spotify’s settings window.
This will remove songs that are unavailable in your region or have expired licenses, essentially solving the problem by removing the possibility of the ‘Content Not Available’ error showing.
If you want to narrow it down even more, there are a few websites you can use to check where a song’s licensing allows it to be streamed. This site is easy to use and totally free.
To use it, simply click Get Spotify Token on the site, then login into your Spotify account.
For the next step, you’ll need a Spotify URI (unique resource indicator), which is an identifying code for a streamable track on Spotify.
To get a URI, find the track you want to check in the Spotify App. Click the three dots and navigate to Share, then click Copy Spotify URI. Paste that code into the website, and you’ll be shown a map of the availability of the track.
If it’s not available anywhere, you can assume the licensing has expired. If it’s only available in certain regions, and your region isn’t one of them, this is why you can’t play the track.
Bypass Region Restrictions with a VPN
So, if you’ve found out that the content you want to access is not available in your region, what can you do? Move overseas?
Sure, you could do that, but it’s much easier to simply bypass these restrictions by using a VPN.
A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, allows you to mask your IP address (and therefore your location) by routing you through the IP of a proxy server – which can be anywhere in the world.
There are countless free (and paid) VPNs available for computers and mobile devices, many of them available on the Google Play Store and App Store, as well as online on dedicated websites. Do some research to find the best option for you, and get listening!
It’s easy to get bummed out when you see you can’t listen to a song you’ve had in your head all day, or an album that comes highly recommended.
But with these methods, hopefully, you can find a way around this annoying restriction, or at least get an answer to why it’s not available. Good luck, and happy streaming!