We’ve been reporting on the persistent rumours that Spotify is preparing to launch in South Korea very soon. It seems that it may be joined by YouTube Music’s subscription tier.

Korean news site Pulse reports that “Google recently signed a contract with the Korea Music Copyright Association to provide YouTube Music Premium, a separated ad-free music streaming service from regular paid subscription of overall YouTube content” – that’s a reference to the YouTube Premium tier, which does not just cover music.

A chart is included with the story offering some market-share estimates for Korean music streaming apps, suggesting that local services Melon (40.3% share), Genie Music (24.6%) and Flo (17.7%) are the big guns to beat, with YouTube Music only estimated to have a 5.7% share.

We’d like to see the methodology behind that, as we’d have expected YouTube to account for a larger share of music consumption in South Korea already. Anyway, the bigger point is that the stage is set for YouTube Music Premium and Spotify to attempt to make inroads in South Korea, which according to the IFPI was the world’s sixth biggest recorded music market in 2019.

Music Ally’s next Learn Live webinar will help you understand what’s required for artists to thrive in new international markets!

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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