Kakao M’s music for Spotify, the world’s largest music streaming company, was suspended on March 1st.
An official statement from Spotify said that “because of the expiration of the existing licensing agreement with Kakao M, the catalog will no longer be available to fans and listeners around the world from March 1, 2021.”
International Spotify users are unable to listen to the music of K-music artists such as IU.
They have clarified that they have been working in all directions for more than a year and a half to continuously provide Kakao M artists’ music to fans worldwide and more than 345 million users in 170 countries as of today. “Nevertheless, we have not reached an agreement on a new global license,” it said.
Some are trying to read these actions as if Spotify’s negotiations on using music with Kakao are disrupted by the release of their own music service, Melon, albeit in the domestic market.
Regarding this, an official from Spotify said, “The overseas licensing contract has nothing to do with the launch of the Korean service.”
Kakao M, the largest music distribution company in Korea, recorded a distribution share of 37.5% of the 400th-ranked music sources on Gaon Chart last year.
Spotify said, “We realize that it is a pity for many artists and fans and listeners around the world, and we sincerely hope that both parties will resolve the current situation as possible.” Furthermore, they emphasized that they will continue to do their best to positively contribute to the music industry’s shared growth and streaming ecosystem.