UPDATE (March 11, 2021): Following the news that hundreds of K-pop releases had been removed from the streaming platform, Spotify has now announced that Korean music owned by Kakao M will be available across the globe again. The agreement applies to the app’s users in South Korea as well.
Over the past month, Kakao M – which owns Melon, one of the leading streaming services in the country – had denied the rights to hundreds of K-pop songs to be played on Spotify as it launched in Korea. With the absence of tracks by IU, MONSTA X, and more, numerous fans took to social media, urging the two companies to come to an agreement to make the missing tracks available worldwide.
“We are pleased that Kakao Entertainment’s content and artists are back on Spotify, allowing our 345M+ global listeners across 170 countries to once again enjoy the music they love,” Spotify’s spokesperson said. “Spotify’s mission has always been to connect artists to their fans all over the world and to give listeners access to all of the world’s music. We are delighted that our Korean listeners will now also be able to enjoy this local music alongside our 70 million+ songs and 4 billion+ playlists.”
Kakao issued a statement that reads: “Through its diverse partnerships around the world including Spotify, Kakao Entertainment hopes that music lovers around the world can easily access its artists’ and music content to enjoy K-pop.” It continued: “Kakao Entertainment remains committed to the Korean music ecosystem and its growth and will continue protecting the rights of artists, labels and local rights holders going forward.”