Following the outrage of users who found their favorite Korean albums and songs no longer available for streaming on the platform, Spotify has confirmed that the removal of content distributed by Kakao M is in fact “due to the expiration of [their] license.”
In a statement via NME — a British media, Spotify explained:
Kakao M’s catalogue will no longer be available to users around the globe from March 1, 2021 due to the expiration of our license.
We have been working with Kakao M over the last year and a half to renew the global licensing agreement, so that their artists’ music would remain available to Spotify’s 345M+ listeners in nearly 170 markets around the world.
Despite our best efforts, the existing licensing deal we had with Kakao M (which covered all countries other than South Korea) has come to an end.
Spotify left hope for users, however, when it hinted that they “hope [the] disruption will be temporary.” The platform, according to their statement, is committed to working with Kakao M to “help grow the Korean music market and overall streaming ecosystem together.”
The fact that we have not yet reached agreement on a new global deal is unfortunate for their artists, as well as for fans and listeners worldwide. It is our hope that this disruption will be temporary and we can resolve the situation soon. We remain committed to working with local rights holders including Kakao M, to help grow the Korean music market and overall streaming ecosystem together.
Meanwhile, artists who distribute their songs with Kakao M have showed discontent with the “disagreement” that has since caused their music to be removed from the platform.