Spotify is excited about having finally launched in South Korea, but the company will be rather less excited about losing a significant chunk of its K-Pop catalogue globally.

After licensing negotiations broke down with one of South Korea’s biggest distributors, Kakao M, the latter’s music has been removed from the streaming service. The fact that Kakao M is part of the same corporate family as South Korean streaming service Melon, which is the biggest established competitor for Spotify there, is inevitably fuelling speculation about the reasons for the breakdown.

“The fact that we have not yet reached agreement on a new global deal is unfortunate for their artists, as well as for fans and listeners worldwide. It is our hope that this disruption will be temporary and we can resolve the situation soon,” Spotify’s spokesperson told the NME.

Meanwhile, Kakao M claims that the breakdown is “due to Spotify’s policy that they must proceed with the domestic and global contracts at the same time” – in other words, no renewal of the global deal unless an agreement is reached for South Korea at the same time.

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