Kakao M has issued a statement in response to Spotify’s claims about the expiration of their global licensing agreement.
On March 1, Spotify made an official statement explaining why hundreds of K-pop releases had suddenly disappeared from the platform. The company stated that despite its best efforts for the past year and a half, it had not been able to successfully renew their global licensing agreement with Kakao M, leading to the removal of all music distributed by the massive Korean label.
However, later that same morning, Kakao M countered with its own statement, in which it claimed that Spotify had been the one who chose not to renew their agreement, even after a request on Kakao M’s part.
The company also clarified that it was still in the midst of negotiating whether its catalogue would be made available on the South Korean version of Spotify—and that the expiration of their global licensing agreement had been entirely separate and unrelated. Spotify also backed up this particular claim in its own statement earlier in the day.
“Unrelated to our preexisting global licensing agreement with Spotify, Kakao M has been separately negotiating with Spotify regarding a domestic contract for the supply of music,” stated Kakao M. “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.”
“Due to Spotify’s policy that they must proceed with the domestic and global contracts at the same time, our global contract has currently expired,” they continued. “We are currently continuing our negotiations about the supply of music.”
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