The Thanos snap of Kpop? Kakao M artists like IU, SEVENTEEN, MONSTA X ‘disappear’ from Spotify’s global lineup

Published March 1, 2021, 4:17 PM

by Angie Chui


Kpop fans all over the world are lamenting the sudden disappearance of their favorite Kpop artists from their playlist from Spotify.

According to an official statement from Spotify, artists with distributing licenses under Kakao M have been removed from the platform after they failed to reach an agreement with the company to renew streaming rights for top acts like IU, MAMAMOO, SEVENTEEN, MONSTA X, GFRIEND, The Boyz, LOONA, Sunmi, (G)I-DLE, BtoB, Apink, P1Harmony, Dreamcatcher, Epik High, SISTAR, CRAVITY, and Cosmic Girls.

“We have been making efforts in all directions over the past year and a half to renew the global licensing agreement so that we could continue to make Kakao M artists’ music available to fans all over the world, as well as our 345 million users in 170 different regions. However, in spite of this, we were unable to reach an agreement about renewing our global license,” the streaming platform stated.

They also clarified that the breakdown in negotiations has nothing to do with the launch of Spotify in Korea, which will compete directly with Melon Music, one of the top music streaming providers in the country which is operated by Kakao M.

Meme shared by Kelsey Mun Facebook page/ ctto

For its part, Kakao M responded with its own statement and claimed that they are currently negotiating the domestic contract for the supply of music on Spotify Korea which is unrelated to their pre-existing global licensing agreement with Spotify.

“Unrelated to the domestic contract, which we are still negotiating, we separately received notice of the expiration of our license on February 28, and we requested a renewal of our existing global contract,” they said.

Many fans took to social media to air their frustration, citing theories about the sudden disappearance of their favorite Kpop music on Spotify. Some creative global fans even likened the event to the Thanos snap of Kpop music wherein hundreds of Korean hit songs were wiped out of the platform in an instant.

At this point, fans are simply hoping that the conflict will be resolved between the two music giants so that they can readily access their favorite music on Spotify again.