Bad News, Kpop Spotify Users!

Posted by Stephanie on March 2, 2021


If you’re a user of Spotify in order to get your Kpop fix, you are already pretty irritated right now, or are about to be as the list of songs and artists available to you have been pretty much decimated due to a fall out between Spotify and the licensing of what seems to be almost every single kpop artist out there.

Seriously, the lists are crazy.

Here’s a list of just a ‘few’ curated by @lemonphobic on twitter.



So, what happened? Spotify has explained it that its a contract thing. Their licensing deal was coming due and despite negotiations, the license holder, Kakao M, declined to sign, and it expired. BOO KAKAO M! Stop holding Kpop hostage!

But wait!

After that Kakao M made a statement which essentially boils down to “Not it!”

We believe that the issue comes with Spotify’s recent launch into South Korea, where Kakao M has its own streaming music service, I believe you’ve heard of it, Melon. Uhoh Spotify, perhaps this was bad timing on your part… Of course Kakao M isn’t going to want this company to come in on its own ground and be a direct competition of itself. I mean, they aren’t dumb-dumbs.

Of course, this leaves not only a lot of fans, but also Kpop artists themselves in the lurch.

While at first when I heard the news and read spotify’s answer, it seemed like Kakao Talk was the big bad here. But, reading their press release, their version of the events make more sense. They gave spotify access to their catalog outside of Korea, they want to use it inside Korea and are negotiating for that. At the same time their global licences comes up, Kakao is all “let’s take care of your global license before we negotiate internally” but Spotify is all, we do it together or not at all.

I don’t think Spotify realizes, its best not to make fangirls mad, you won’t like fangirls when they’re mad!



  • Reply Val March 5, 2021 at 12:48 am

    I am fangirls and I’m still mad

  • Reply humbledaisy March 6, 2021 at 5:23 pm

    It makes me happy to see Korean artists creep back onto Spotify as they work out their distribution issues but it’s not making happy to see how few that is. I use Spotify to find “new to me” artists and the suggestions have slowed way down recently.

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