Kakao M v Spotify Korea: K pop fans upset with Kakao M distributed songs disappearing from Spotify

IU, MAMAMOO SEVENTEEN and Epik High are some of the artists whose discographies have disappeared from Spotify, leaving fans upset.
Kakao M v Spotify Korea: K pop fans upset with Kakao M distributed songs disappearing from Spotify
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Last night, K-pop fans were left bewildered and confused after realising that hundreds of K-pop releases were suddenly removed from Spotify's catalogue. After much confusion and chatter, it was revealed that Kakao M removed all the songs distributed by them from Spotify's catalogue, after the expiration of their mutual contract. For those uninitiated, Kakao M owns Korean streaming platforms like Melon and Genie, which are Spotify's biggest competitors in Korea. Spotify launched in Korea on February 1 and is one of the biggest music streaming services in the world. It is also a hub for global K-pop fans to listen to their favourite artists' music. Artists like IU, SEVENTEEN, NU’EST, MAMAMOO, Epik High, CL, GFRIEND, MONSTA X, Apink, THE BOYZ, Sunmi, (G)I-DLE, LOONA, SF9, HyunA, 4Minute, VIXX, INFINITE, Dreamcatcher, MOMOLAND, ASTRO, Zico, Block B, BEAST, Jessi, WJSN, AOA, BTOB, Golden Child, VICTON, Lovelyz, PENTAGON, ONEUS, Hyolyn, KARD, Brave Girls, CNBLUE, DIA, Younha, SECHSKIES's music isn't available on Spotify worldwide anymore, which has left fans angry and upset at this development. K-pop fans took to Twitter to protest against this with keywords like, 'Kakao M', 'Spotify Korea', 'IU' and 'MAMAMOO' trending on worldwide trends. 

On March 1, Kakao M and Spotify Korea, released official statements regarding the issue. According to a statement by Spotify Korea, they stated that despite their best efforts for the past year and a half, they have not been able to successfully renew their global licensing agreement with Kakao M, leading to the removal of all music distributed by the Korean label. However, Kakao M turned Spotify Korea's statement over its head. According to the official translation by Soompi, Kakao M clarified that Spotify chose not to renew their agreement, even after a request on Kakao M’s part. As of now, the contracts are currently expired and both parties are in the middle of serious negotiations to resolve this matter as soon as possible. 

Meanwhile, fans and artists are upset over this issue. Epik High’s Tablo took to Twitter to shed some light on the situation. In his tweet, Tablo voiced K-pop fans' unified feeling on this issue by stating, “Regardless of who is at fault,” he noted, “Why is it always the artists and the fans that suffer when businesses place greed over art?” Point to be noted.

ALSO READ: The top 10 fastest Kpop songs to reach a 100 million streams on Spotify: BTS and BLACKPINK dominate the list

What are your thoughts on this issue? Must fans suffer over business' conflict? Share your thoughts with Pinkvilla in the comments below.

Anonymous 1 month ago

Same is going on with VICTON's songs on spotify TT. I hope this can be resolved quickly. Stan VICTON also they are very underrated