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Spotify removes songs from major South Korean Music company Kakao M

Many users of the music streaming giant Spotify woke up today to see that hundreds of tracks from IU, SEVENTEEN, LOONA and other K-Pop artists under Kakao M have been abruptly removed from the platform. 

While most of us have been sourcing our music from Spotify for the past few years, they have only started their operations in South Korea in the beginning of February.  Due to licensing issues Spotify was unable to feature songs under Kakao M in South Korea, whereas their releases were available elsewhere. Many speculate this is due to Kakao M’s parent company owning the streaming platform MelOn, which is one of Spotify’s biggest competitors in South Korea.

(via EDAM Entertainment and Pledis Entertainment)

Kakao M is one of South Korea’s largest distributors of music, with fan favorites like IU, SEVENTEEN, MAMAMOO, GFRIEND, and (G)-IDLE on their roster.

Spotify has confirmed that on March 1, 2021 the releases under the distributor have been made unavailable for streaming globally. 

“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,” said a Spotify spokesperson to NME.

Spotify is aware of the inconvenience this issue brought to its users, and is hoping for a quick solution to the problem. “We remain committed to working with local rights holders including KakaoM, to help grow the Korean music market and overall streaming ecosystem together,” they added.

Some users have reported that the songs are still available to them, but it is unclear if they will be removed in the future.

POP! Creator Community/Viking Ulanday 


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