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Spotify issued a statement explaining why hundreds of K-pop songs were removed, with entire discographies disappeared without warning, according to a report by GMA News. 

Spotify said its licensing agreement with Korean music distributor Kakao M expires on March 1, which means all of the music distributed by the label will no longer be available on the service.

The report cited a spokesperson for Spotify who explained, "Due to the expiration of our original licensing agreement with Kakao M on March 1, 2021, we are no longer able to provide its catalogue to fans and listeners all over the world.”

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In the Soompi report, Spotify clarified that the expiration of their licensing agreement with Kakao M is "unrelated" to the recent launch of their service in South Korea, which has put Spotify in direct competition with Kakao M's streaming service Melon.

“We feel that this situation is deeply unfortunate for many artists, as well as fans and listeners all over the world, and we sincerely hope that we will be able to quickly resolve the current situation,” they continued.

“We will continue to do our utmost so that we can keep working with Korean rights holders, including Kakao M, and help both the Korean music market and overall streaming ecosystem grow together.”

According to Soompi, Kakao M distributes a big share of Korean music including 37.5 percent of Gaon Chart’s year-end Top 400 Songs chart from 2020 were Kakao M releases.

The Soompo report listed down some of the K-pop artists whose discographies have been at least partially affected which includes IU, SEVENTEEN, NU’EST, MAMAMOO, Epik High, CL, GFRIEND, MONSTA X, Apink, THE BOYZ, Sunmi, (G)I-DLE, LOONA, SF9, HyunA, 4Minute, VIXX, INFINITE, Dreamcatcher, MOMOLAND, ASTRO, Zico, Block B, BEAST, Jessi, WJSN, AOA, BTOB, Golden Child, VICTON, Lovelyz, PENTAGON, ONEUS, Hyolyn, KARD, Brave Girls, CNBLUE, DIA, Younha, SECHSKIES, and many more.

GMA News Online has reached out to Spotify Philippines how the Philippine market will move forward given the situation. Watch this space.


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