This Is Why Your Favourite K-Pop Songs Have Disappeared From Spotify
K-Pop fans around the world probably found themselves waking up to a living nightmare as they discovered hundreds of K-Pop songs have disappeared from their Spotify library.
Credits: Kiligg Source
Apparently, this was caused by an expiry in a license agreement between Spotify and Korean music distributor, Kakao M. According to a Spotify spokesperson, the company’s original licensing agreement with Kakao M had ended on 1 March, which led to all the songs that were distributed by Kakao M being taken down from Spotify effective yesterday.
Initially, fans speculated that Kakao M had removed the songs from Spotify to encourage more listeners to use Melon, Kakao M’s own music streaming app that is available in South Korea.
kakao m did this so koreans would only continue using melon and not switch over to spotify to stream since it got released in korea…BUT WHAT ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL FANS HUH?? — emaan ◡̈ ROSÉ SOLO! (@nyucuddles) February 28, 2021
However, Spotify clarified that the situation had nothing to do with the competition against Melon. In fact, the company explained that they had been trying to renew their global licensing agreement with Kakao M for the past year and a half, though their efforts have not been successful.
Meanwhile, Kakao M has released their own statement, stating that Spotify had been the one who decided not to renew their agreement, even after a request on Kakao M’s part.
Regardless of which side of the story is true, K-Pop artists and fans ended up being the biggest victims in this scenario as many artists are now losing out on potential streams and revenue while millions of international fans no longer get to enjoy the songs from their favourite artists.
Apparently a disagreement between our distributor Kakao M & Spotify has made our new album Epik High Is Here unavailable globally against our will. Regardless of who is at fault, why is it always the artists and the fans that suffer when businesses place greed over art? — 에픽하이 타블로 | Tablo of Epik High (@blobyblo) February 28, 2021