Spotify have confirmed a vast number of K-pop releases have been removed from its platform.
The streaming service claims it is trying to reach an agreement with distributor Kakao M, as songs from artists including IU, MAMAMOO, Loona (pictured) and more disappeared earlier today (28th February).
In a statement to NME, Spotify confirmed that Kakao M’s catalogue would remain unavailable.
“We have been working with Kakao M 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 statement said. “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.
“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. We remain committed to working with local rights holders including Kakao M, to help grow the Korean music market and overall streaming ecosystem together.”
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.
Fans have been left frustrated with the disappearance, with many artists appearing to find out the news from their own stan accounts.