Spotify has removed hundreds of K-pop songs amid a dispute with South Korean platform and distributor Kakao M.
“Due to the expiration of our original licensing agreement with Kakao M on March 1, 2021, we are no longer able to provide its catalogue to fans and listeners all over the world,” a Spotify spokesperson said.
“We have been making efforts in all directions over the past year and a half to renew the global licensing agreement so that we could continue to make Kakao M artists’ music available to fans all over the world, as well as our 345 million users in 170 different regions. However, in spite of this, we were unable to reach an agreement about renewing our global license,” the spokesperson added.
According to Soompi, an entertainment platform for K-pop news, Kakao M claimed that Spotify had refused to extend its license.
“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,” Kakao M said.
“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,” it said.
The company is one of South Korea’s largest distributors of music, which includes tracks by popular K-pop acts like SISTAR, IU, MAMAMOO, and MOMOLAND.
K-pop fans expressed their frustrations on social media when they noticed that the songs were removed. A.C. R. Biscocho