Hundreds of songs and albums from K-pop artists are no longer available on Spotify worldwide after the lapse of a global licensing deal.
Spotify confirmed to NME that songs under Kakao M's catalogue would cease to be available on the streaming platform beginning March 1.
"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," said a spokesperson for Spotify.
"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," added the streaming giant.
Kakao M is one of the biggest co-publisher companies in South Korea and distributes songs from several artists, including Epik High. One of the group's members, Tablo, lamented that their new album is "unavailable globally against our will" because of the disagreement between Kakao M and Spotify.
Other artists' songs have also been removed from Spotify, including newer releases by IU. A Twitter user has since been compiling a list of South Korean artists whose songs have disappeared from the platform.
Kakao M's parent company, Kakao, also operates Melon, a streaming service that also sponsors several music shows in South Korea. Spotify had recently entered the South Korean market. – Rappler.com