I have a playlist I started a few years ago and occassionally add songs to it. It has 221 songs and 38 of them are no longer playable. Did Spotify lose the licensing rights to that big a percent of this catalogue??? Is this possible or am I missing something?
Spotify proabably lost the rights to the song, but mostly it is an agreement between the artist/label that decided not to put the song on spotify.
You are not missing something, there are some songs in spotify that can't be playable anymore. For example, I had strawberry's and ciggarettes by Troye Sivian taken down on my playlist becuase of this.
It's likely something to do with a contract or decision by the artist/manager. I know as an independent artist I can choose to have my stuff removed from Spotify at any time if I wanted to. There wouldn't be much reason to for me, but I know some big name artists have complained that streaming profits aren't the best and so they removed their music.