A disagreement between Kakao M and Spotify has caused a chaos amongst K-pop fans, as thousands of songs by K-pop artists, that were distributed by Kakao M, were taken down from Spotify. These include an album of boy band Seventeen, songs by solo artist IU, and music by other bands like Monsta X, A pink, Mamamoo, LOONA, and many more. It’s been a havoc on social media, and fans have been demanding that this issue be resolved soon and the songs should be brought back.
Reason for the this ‘disagreement’ as per the Rumours
Fans are curious as to what sort of ‘disagreement’ would have led to such drastic action, that is going to heavily affect both parties. Here are some possibilities to a reason for the clash that has been speculating online:
Kakao M has its own streaming service ‘Melon’ and wants to monopolise the Korean industry
Kakao M owns the streaming service ‘Melon’, and they have been trying to monopolise Korean music. A few years ago, when AppleMusic launched service in Korea and wanted to get a licence on Korean Music, they failed to sign a contract with Kakao M, even when three other major companies( JYP, SM, YG) signed the contract.
Recently, Spotify was also launched in Korea, and immediately a rapid increase in streams was seen. Spotify is much easier to use and is also free of charge. This led to more people using Spotify, and fewer people using ‘Melon’ to stream Korean music. This is possibly why Kakao M decided to block their music license with Spotify and pulled back all the songs that had been distributed under them.
Melon has also been stealing royalties from Korean artists for years and has now even cut off a huge part of international fans who will not be having easy access to music by various K-pop artists.
Koreans are using VPNs for Spotify
As per the rumours, Kakao M removed their own songs from Spotify worldwide because some Koreans are using VPNs for listening to music on Spotify. As someone on Reddit mentioned that “Current Spotify Korea service doesn’t have a sound source of Kakao M, if Korean use official Korea Spotify, Koreans cant play Korean musician songs”.
This disagreement between both the parties have a huge impact on tons and tons of artists, many labels and artists would use Kakao M as their distributor. Here’s a list of few artists or labels will be affected.
List of Affected artists and labels
Fans on Twitter: Kakao M and Spotify
Fans took to twitter to show how displeased and annoyed they are at this situation, and are demanding Kakao M and Spotify to resolve their issues and bring back the songs of these K-pop artists, because at the end, the victims of this ‘disagreement’, are going to be the artists who worked hard on their music and their fans. And as usual, to deal with the pain of losing tons of great songs, Netizens have been creating various memes on the current situation, and although the situation is devastating, we have to admit that the memes are hilarious.