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Many K-Pop Songs Are Disappearing From Spotify, Here’s Why

There is bad news for K-Pop fans around the world. Fans reported that some of the South Korean songs suddenly disappeared from the Spotify music platform. This also became a trending topic on the internet. Reportedly, the loss of Korean songs from the music platform was due to the feud between Kakao M and Spotify.

The keyword ‘Spotify’ became a trending topic on Twitter. On Monday morning, with more than 1.6 million tweets using this keyword that have been uploaded by netizens. Spotify was a trending topic after hundreds of K-Pop songs disappeared from the music player platform. This was due to a distribution agreement problem with a music distributor from South Korea, Kakao M.

At first, fans are startled to know that their favorite K-Pop artists and musicians have been removed from the platform. The app has more than a billion users around the world. In monthly statistics, K-Pop songs in the Korean language are covering nearly a quarter of the songs. Lovers of K-Pop songs are one of the biggest communities of streamers in Spotify. This is influenced by the fact that two of the most succesful boyband and girlband at this beginning of the decade, namely BTS (Bangtan Boys) and Blackpink are still on the platform.

But then again, there are many groups and singers from South Korea who’s got a lot of fans around the world. This decision to take down audio contents from Kakao M. Many fans of the groups or talents under the license of Kakao M confessed that this is highly unfortunate.

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Some artists lost their Spotify license.

Indeed, not all songs from Korean artists are lost on the music streaming platform. Only songs distributed under Kakao M disappeared. Some of the songs, including IU, SEVENTEEN, Epik High, and many more, have disappeared from Spotify.

“The Kakao M catalog will no longer be available to users around the world starting March 1, 2021, the license agreement we have with Kakao M (which covers all countries apart from South Korea) has ended,” explained Spotify.

Spotify also hopes that this interruption will only be temporary and not permanent. They were looking to working together again with Kakao M to grow the South Korean music market.

“Hope this disruption is only temporary. Hopefully, we can stay committed to working with local rights holders, including Kakao M, to help grow the Korean music market and the streaming ecosystem as a whole together,” Spotify continued.

Meanwhile, Kakao M said that Spotify did not extend the global license agreement with Kakao M. Kakao M said that it was still negotiating with Spotify.

Spotify explains that the company has made various efforts over the past year of its duty. One of its halves is to renew the global licensing agreement in order to continue to make Kakao M artist’s music available to fans around the world, as well as our 345 million users in 170 different regions. However, Spotify was unable to reach an agreement on renewing the company’s global license.

Spotify later clarified speculation that the termination of the license agreement with Kakao M had to do with the service’s recent launch in South Korea, which put Spotify in direct competition with Kakao M’s own streaming service, Melon.

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“We will continue to do our best so that we can continue to work with Korean rights holders, including Kakao M, and help the Korean music market and the streaming ecosystem as a whole grow together,” said Spotify.

There are many beloved K-Pop stars under Kakao M.

Since Kakao M distributes most of the Korean music, for reference, 37.5 percent of the Gaon Chart’s year-end Top 400 Songs from 2020 were Kakao M releases. So the loss of the catalog was a major blow to Spotify and K-pop fans who use the service.

Among the artists whose discography was the least affected were the ones who are quite popular in the K-pop industry. They were IU, Seventeen, Nu’Est, Mamamoo, Epik High, CL, Gfriend, Monsta X, Apink, Loona, SF9, HyunA, Momoland, Astro, Zico, Block B, Beast, Jessi, WJSN, Pentagon, CNBlue, DIA, Younha, Sechskies and many more.

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