Spotify and Kakao Entertainment Settle Licensing Dispute, Music To Return To Spotify Globally Including Korea

The companies have finally reached an agreement.

Spotify and Kakao Entertainment (previously Kakao M) have announced that they have reached a licensing agreement, making Kakao Entertainment’s music available globally once again.

| Spotify

The two companies have been in talks since the expiration of Kakao Entertainment’s license with Spotify earlier this month. The expiration led to the removal of works by many K-Pop artists such as MAMAMOO, SEVENTEEN, LOONA, MONSTA X and many more from the streaming platform. Kakao Entertainment previously stated that they were unable to renew their contract, but it is reported that they have now agreed to terms that are “not dramatically different from those originally offered,” according to Variety.

The major difference is that Kakao Entertainment artists will now be available on Spotify in South Korea–a platform they were not present on before the license expiration.

| Spotify

Both the companies have released statements regarding the license renewal.

We are pleased that Kakao Entertainment’s content and artists are back on Spotify, allowing our 345M+ global listeners across 170 countries to once again enjoy the music they love. Spotify’s mission has always been to connect artists to their fans all over the world and to give listeners access to all of the world’s music. We are delighted that our Korean listeners will now also be able to enjoy this local music alongside our 70 million+ songs and 4 billion+ playlists. We remain committed to making a positive impact on Korea’s music streaming ecosystem through our partnerships with artists, labels, and local rights holders.


However, neither have shared specifics as to why the music is now available on Spotify Korea nor how this will affect the counting of streams (for Korean music show awards, for example).

Kakao Entertainment Corp.(previously Kakao M) has entered into an agreement with Spotify and will sequentially provide its music content to Spotify for service in and beyond Korea. Through its diverse partnerships around the world including Spotify, Kakao Entertainment hopes that music lovers around the world can easily access its artists’ and music content to enjoy K-pop. Kakao Entertainment remains committed to the Korean music ecosystem and its growth and will continue protecting the rights of artists, labels and local rights holders going forward.

–Kakao Entertainment

It has not been specified when the music will be available again but it should reappear in the upcoming days. While there are no further details, we can assume that streams and playlists affected by the removal will not return to their previous state, given that all P NATION artists previously reuploaded to the platform lost all their streams.

Source: Variety

Spotify vs. Kakao M