Will Spotify Korea be Able to Catch Up to KakaoM without IU?

Will Spotify be able to hold hands with KakaoM?

Credit: Spotify

The global streaming platform Spotify has started to service in Korea on the 2nd. With more than a 60million tracks and 400million playlists, Spotify plans to jump into Korea’s music platform market with its unique personalization service.

The current Spotify app provides the service of a personalized playlist based on information from the user’s Favorite Artist which they get to choose at the time of signing up. However, there are no songs distributed by KakaoM. Artists under the label of Kakao M such as IU and MONSTA X, are not available along with some songs of Lim Young Woong and Zico. As a result, Spotify received a disappointing response that it could only provide half of the service other platforms could.

Credit: Starship Entertainment

Spotify securing Kakao M’s music has long been an issue that has drawn the attention of both the industry in and out of the country. As Melon maintains its position as the No. 1 music platform in Korea, it has a special relationship with Kakao M. Thus predictions have been made that Melon will try to keep Spotify in check. Spotify has reportedly been discussing with Kakao M for a long time even before its official launch. Despite such efforts, Spotify has kicked off without Kakao M.

A related individual said, “We will do our best as always to connect domestic artists to all fans around the world, including Korean fans. We believe that domestic users should also be able to enjoy their favorite artists’ music, and we are continuing to make more music available through Spotify.” It seems as if they were expressing their intention to continue discussing with Kakao M for music supply in the future.

Credit: KakaoM

Kakao M distributed 37.5% of songs from the annual top 400 Gaon Music Chart last year alone. Considering that the artists KakaoM are in charge of distribution have a significant presence on domestic music charts, their share of music feels much more significant than it actually is. In other words, cooperation with Kakao M is a must for Spotify to achieve meaningful results within the domestic music platform market.


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