K-pop fans have reacted with shock at the disappearance of a huge catalogue of material from Spotify earlier today (Sunday 28th February).
Reports from the US, UK, Canada and Germany suggest that releases licensed by Kakao M are no longer available to be played via the streaming service. Tracks from Seventeen, MONSTA X, Loona, IU (pictured), Apink, MAMAMOO (pictured), GFriend, The Boyz, SF9, Pentagon, CLC, Astro, Weki Meki, Golden Child, Cravity and VICTON, amongst others, are currently missing.
Eddie Nam, founder of EN Management, hone to acts including Epik High, Eric Nam and KATIE, tweeted in response that he has “never heard of an artist’s music being taken down against the artist’s will.”
He went on to state “it really hurts to see”.
Artists too are frustrated. Some, like CODE KUNST, appeared to find out about the takedown via stan accounts.
Fans, meanwhile, were shocked to find their playlist emptied.
Spotify recently launched in Korea without the Kakao M catalogue, with a deal yet to be signed. “We are still talking with Spotify (about distributing our songs through their platform),” Kakao M’s spokesperson shared with The Korea Herald. Kakao M already own a popular streaming platform, Melon, for which Spotify’s new launch will be a competitor.
Some fans are speculating the mass disappearance is due to this rivalry, though the cause is yet to be confirmed, with no public statement from either party to date.