Kakao M have issued a statement in response to Spotify’s claims, after their vast catalogue of K-pop tracks were removed from the streaming platform.
Yesterday (28th February), songs from artists including Seventeen, MONSTA X, Loona, IU, Apink, MAMAMOO, GFriend, The Boyz (pictured), SF9, Pentagon, CLC, Astro, Weki Meki, Golden Child, Cravity and VICTON, amongst others, disappeared from the service.
Spotify followed the news with a statement claiming the releases had been removed after an agreement came to an end, telling NME that they’d “been working with Kakao M over the last year and a half to renew” but “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.”
They followed up by claiming that they “hope that this disruption will be temporary and we can resolve the situation soon”.
However, Kakao M has countered that with their own statement, claiming Spotify were the ones who chose not to renew, even after a request on Kakao M’s part to do so.
“Unrelated to our preexisting global licensing agreement with Spotify, Kakao M has been separately negotiating with Spotify regarding a domestic contract for the supply of music,” explained Kakao M. “Unrelated to the domestic contract, which we are still negotiating, we separately received notice of the expiration of our license on February 28, and we requested a renewal of our existing global contract.”
“Due to Spotify’s policy that they must proceed with the domestic and global contracts at the same time, our global contract has currently expired,” they continued. “We are currently continuing our negotiations about the supply of music.”
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.