Hundreds of K-pop tracks have reportedly been removed from Sportify globally as the streaming service attempts to reach a deal with distributor Kakao M.
The music streaming platform launched in South Korea in early February 2021. However, the app came in without tracks from artists with licensing contracts under Kakao M, including stars such as Zico, and IU, among many others.
At present, the releases distributed by renowned Korean label have been removed from the music streaming platform across the world. For the uninitiated, Kakao M gives out a substantial share of the Korean music, with around 37.5% of the songs being highlighted on the Top 400 2020 Yearly Song Chart from Gaon Music Chart under the firm.
A Spotify spokesperson confirmed that the catalogue of Kakao M will not be available from 1st March 2021 to users across the world owing to the expiration of Spotify’s license to use that music.
The music streaming service is hoping that the ongoing disruption would be temporary, and the situation could be resolved soon.
The parent company of Kakao M also owns as well as runs the MelOn streaming service, considered as one of the leading digital music platforms across South Korea.
Tablo of Epik High had initially claimed on Twitter that a disagreement between Spotify and the Korean company has led to problems. Although, artists signed to JYP, YG, SM as well as BigHit Entertainment (not including BigHit Labels) remain unaffected by the removals.
The fans too have reported that artists are losing significant number of streams on the international music streaming app owing to the removal.
Meanwhile, earlier this month, Lee Soo-man, founder, SM Entertainment stated that he thinks K-pop needs to further expand into the Chinese market so as to keep growing. The influence of Korean music industry in China has been muffled over recent years. This is mainly owing to a complete embargo on South Korean culture in the East Asian nation that came as a result of a political clash.