K-POP Songs Are BACK on Spotify

Taewan Park, Multimedia Editor

Back in March, Spotify announced licensing issues with KakaoM, a Korean music distributor company with Spotify which led to removal of hundreds of K-pop songs from Spotify. This tragedy has put many K-pop artists and fans in agony for some artists lost their albums and some lost entire discographies. After seeing their favorite K-pop songs and artists disappear from Spotify, many users were upset and even decided to switch music streaming platforms. 


A few Green Hope students who regularly enjoy listening to K-pop songs on Spotify were asked about their feelings after many of their favorite songs were removed from Spotify. Their response reflected the frustration and anger towards Spotify and KakaoM’s disagreement. To read more about the suspicions around this event between Spotify and Korea’s music contributor, check out the featured article above. 


Here’s the good news: They’re back.

Metaphoric graphic of “K-POP songs returning to Spotify after the two companies resolved the licensing issue.

On March 11th, both Spotify and KakaoM officially announced their settled agreement surrounding the licensing issue. With the resolving of this issue, hundreds of K-pop songs and artists that were impacted by the dispute between two companies returned on Spotify globally. Furthermore, Spotify’s launch in South Korea made all of these songs available to stream in South Korea for the first time. 


Many, if not all, Spotify users in Green Hope who enjoyed listening to K-pop songs were uplifted from seeing their favorite songs come back on Spotify ready to stream. Jane, one of the interviewees from last article who considered switching music streaming platforms said “I was so glad. I was so happy that they were back because I could finally listen to the songs without using youtube.” 


The detrimental effects like the entire removal of some artists’ discographies are completely restored. However, streaming records of the songs were reset to 0 for the songs that were removed. Many K-pop fans are worried about the disadvantages that K-pop artists have to face after losing the streams accumulated over the years. Elizabeth, another interviewee showed positivity and gratefulness before upsetting feelings:: “Although it was really sad the streams were gone, I was just happy to have them back and my playlists restored.”

Major K-pop artists like IU and ATEEZ are back on Spotify after their songs getting removed from Spotify. (Screenshot of K-Pop playlist by Spotify)

As mentioned in the last article, this event was a consequence of jeopardizing music for the benefit of businesses and industries instead of promoting them fully for the art in the expression of the artists and appreciation of the fans. Although we are more than aware of the tragedy that could happen within disagreements between music businesses, K-pop fans are grateful and happy to stream their favorite songs back on Spotify.