Hundreds of K-pop releases have been removed from Spotify worldwide as the streaming platform continues to try and reach an agreement with distributor Kakao M. In a statement to NME, Spotify confirmed that the songs would no longer be available “due to the expiration of our license.” But the Korean company that owns the rights to the songs claims that Spotify refuses to renew the global license to its catalog.
Spotify, which launched in South Korea just this February, did so without music from artists with licensing deals under Kakao M, including IU, Zico, and more.“We have been working with KakaoM 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,” the streaming platform shared. "Despite our best efforts, the existing licensing deal we had with KakaoM (which covered all countries other than South Korea) has come to an end."
While Spotify did not specifically state what it was doing to remedy the situation — besides renew its contract — the streaming platform said it hoped to fix the problem soon. “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," Spotify further shared in a statement. "We remain committed to working with local rights holders including KakaoM, to help grow the Korean music market and overall streaming ecosystem together.”