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Kpop fans were shocked to see their favorite songs disappeared from Spotify. Said that the reason why Spotify removed several Kpop songs is that the “existing licensing deal” with Kakao M had “come to an end.” However, the Korean company said that Spotify refused to extend the global license.
Kakao M is one of Korea’s largest distributors and the owner of MelOn, Korea’s largest digital streaming platform. Kakao M is responsible for 37.5% of the songs featured in the country’s Top 400 Yearly Song Chart in 2020’ as quoted in BBC.
As a result of this issue, some Kpop stars are heartbroken, and Kpop fans starting to cancel premium subscription to Spotify. Will our favorite Kpop song be back on Spotify soon?
Speculation on why Spotify removed Kpop songs
Some people speculated that Kakao M, as the owner of MelOn, is a direct competitor of Spotify. The speculation came basically from the fact that Spotify just launched in South Korea one month ago, on February 1.
Just a theory: I don’t have direct insight on the situation, but Spotify just launching in Korea means direct competition to Kakao M, who owns Melon, the largest streaming platform in Korea. I feel negotiations between the two halted and their deal expired by the end of the month— Jeff Benjamin (@Jeff__Benjamin) February 28, 2021
Written in pitchfork, Spotify is now available in 178 countries, with 345 million active listeners and 155 million paid subscribers. Meanwhile, MelOn has 8.81 million monthly active users.
Which Kpop songs are removed from Spotify?
Spotify has removed hundreds of songs from popular Kpop stars, including Mamamoo, Sistar, IU, Monsta X, Epik High, and more.
artists that had their stuff on spotify deleted, a thread— ً (@lemonphobic) February 28, 2021
Epik High reaction
The sudden removal from Spotify is very close after Epik High newest album release, Epik High Is Here (Part 1). Tablo said that the removal is against their will.
“Why is it always the artists and the fans that suffer when businesses place greed over art?”Tablo
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
Kpop Songs are back on Spotify
Many Kpop stars, such as Epik High as well as HyunA and Jessi, have been working on getting their music back on the site. As a result, some of the Kpop songs are back on Spotify, but not all.
[INFO Spotify x Kakao M] HyunA and Jessi songs are back on Spotify, they apparently lost all their streams but we’ll wait to see if they will be restored.— Kpop Charts (@kchartsmaster) March 1, 2021
They are now being distributed by P NATION. pic.twitter.com/R2hLjmjBKt
The Kpop songs removal frustrate Kpop fans
After Spotify removed Kpop songs, Kpop fans are heartbroken. It is known that some Kpop fans started to cancel their premium subscription to Spotify due to the issue.
Epik High’s albums, “Epik High Is Here” and “Sleepless in __________” are both unavailable on Spotify globally. This is heartbreaking as a manager, friend and fan. There needs to be a solution ASAP.— Eddie Nam (@eddienam) February 28, 2021
Spotify has put the website under maintenance, presumably to prevent the large influx of people trying to cancel premium subs.— Naya (@queens_mmm) February 28, 2021
I navigated the site and managed to find a way to contact a live agent and finally get my sub cancelled
Please rt for whoever needs this thread
me entering kakao m and spotify’s headquarters for removing 90% of seventeen’s discography pic.twitter.com/GxE1Ou8Wjk— —𝐜𝐚𝗺♡︎𝐧𝐚𝐧𝐚*.• (@jaescty) March 1, 2021
Nobody:— THOTMATICA OREO (@HoeHawt) March 1, 2021
Kakao M : *removes songs off Spotify*
My IU and Hyuna playlists: *gone* pic.twitter.com/9WbgH1TcnU
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