Spotify is one of the most popular streaming services in the world. Spotify has a 35% share of the global music streaming market. It has always been a popular platform for all music lovers.
Recently, all the songs that were distributed by Kakao M, a Korean music company, became unavailable on Spotify globally. In February, Spotify was finally available in South Korea.
South Korean streaming services like Melon and Genie have dominated the country’s market for years.
Kakao M is the company in charge of Melon which is Spotify’s biggest competitor in South Korea. On March 1, all the songs that were distributed by Kakao M have been removed from Spotify.
Kakao M distributes music for many of the biggest K-Pop agencies. Entire discographies of many artists are now totally missing.
The removal has disappointed not only South Korean users but also the fans globally. Many artists affected by this include Mamamoo, Seventeen, IU, Zico, Monsta X, Gfriend, The Boyz, Loona, Sunmi, Apink, (G)I-DLE, Dreamcatcher, BtoB, and many others.
A fan account dedicated to SEVENTEEN said that according to Spotify statistics and updates the group had lost nearly 1billion streams after their music was removed from Spotify.
Kakao M said the suspension came in accordance with Spotify’s policy under which it seeks to clinch deals on domestic and global services simultaneously.
The Statements Of Kakao M And Spotify
Later in the morning, Spotify officially announced that its licensing agreement with Korean music distributor Kakao M had expired. This means that all music distributed by the label will no longer be available on the service.
A spokesperson for Spotify said, “Due to the expiration of our original licensing agreement with Kakao M on March 1, 2021, we are no longer able to provide its catalog to fans and listeners all over the world.”
The company said that despite its best efforts for the past year and a half, it had not been able to successfully renew its global licensing agreement with Kakao M.
After Spotify released its statement, Kakao M countered with a statement in which it claimed that Spotify had been the one who chose not to renew their agreement, even after a request by Kakao M.
“Unrelated to our pre-existing global licensing agreement with Spotify, Kakao M has been separately negotiating with Spotify regarding a domestic contract for the supply of music,” stated Kakao M. “Unrelated to the domestic contract, which we are still negotiating, we separately received notice of the expiration of our license on February 28, and we requested a renewal of our existing global contract.”
“Due to Spotify’s policy that they must proceed with the domestic and global contracts at the same time, our global contract has currently expired,” they continued. “We are currently continuing our negotiations about the supply of music.”
According to the recent updates, Jessi and Hyuna’s songs are back on Spotify. As of now, it is still unclear whether the other songs that got removed from Spotify will come back or not.
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