Hundreds of KPop songs distributed by Kakao M have been removed from music streaming platform Spotify. KPop fans were shocked to find out that their favorite songs by groups including MAMAMOO, Seventeen, IU, MONSTA X, and Epik High were missing from the Spotify playlist. Here is what happened.
Currently, songs of playlists of artists who distribute their own songs are still available. But effective from March 1, all songs distributed by Kakao M have stopped playing on Spotify worldwide. Both Kakao M and the British media Spotify have released statements in this regard.
Responding to the claims, KakaoM stated: "KakaoM has had an agreement with Spotify on overseas music distribution. We are currently negotiating our contract with them for Korea, but we were notified of our contract ending for everywhere else on February 28th."
"We asked to renew the contract. However, Spotify said that the Korean and overseas contract has to be negotiated simultaneously, so the overseas service is currently disabled. We are still talking about distributions," Kakao M statement read.
Spotify in a statement released via NME said: "Kakao M's catalogue will no longer be available to users around the globe from March 1, 2021 due to the expiration of our license."
Spotify explained that the deal was effective since 2019 and Spotify was trying to renew the global licensing with Kakao M. "We have been working with Kakao M over the last year and a half to renew the global licensing agreement. Despite our best efforts, the existing licensing deal we had with Kakao M (which covered all countries other than South Korea) has come to an end," statement from Spotify read.
Spotify has more than 345 million listeners in nearly 170 countries around the world. Explaining the situation further, Spotify said: "The fact that we have not yet reached an agreement on a new global deal is unfortunate for their artists, as well as for fans and listeners worldwide. We hope that this disruption is temporary and will be resolved soon. We remain committed to working with local rights holders including Kakao M, to help grow the Korean music market and overall streaming ecosystem together," said Spotify.
Melon VS Spotify
Koreaboo reported that streaming services like Melon and Genie have been dominating the music market in South Korea. But Spotify launched its platform in the country in February. Reports claim that Kakao M is in charge of Melon which is the biggest competitor of Spotify in Korea. This is said to have led Kakao M to stop distributing KPop music to Spotify.
Kakao M is the major distributor of Kpop songs in South Korea. It's decision to stop distributing Kpop songs to Spotify has affected the following groups in the country.
- MONSTA X
- The Boyz
- Epik High
- Cosmic Girls
Kpop group Epic High even put out a tweet from its official account in this regard. "Regardless of who is at fault, why is it always the artists and the fans that suffer when businesses place greed over art?" the group questioned.