A big chunk of K-pop songs distributed by KakaoM now Kakao Entertainment disappeared from Spotify on March 1st after negotiations between Spotify and KakaoM didn't work out.
KakaoM has long had an agreement to provide music to Spotify's global service, but that deal expired on February 28th.
Spotify entered the Korean market at the start of February, and was negotiating a deal for KakaoM's local music rights.
To provide the same service for fans around the world, Spotify had been simultaneously pursuing deals for the rights for songs in both the global and the local Korean market.
KakaoM says that this policy of Spotify's is what caused the global deal to expire.
Spotify says it had been working on renewing the global licensing agreement for over a year-and-a-half.
According to experts, the important fact is that global K-pop fans aren't getting access to songs and this issue highlights the problems with the current music industry structure.
"The biggest issue I think is just the fans themselves aren't getting this music and when we talk about the Korean wave, we want to think that more content is being available and being able to be digested by audiences."
"This is indicative of much larger issue in that the music that people listen to and people enjoy is controlled by only a few companies and it's kind of a monopoly at certain point."
Not only are fans unable to enjoy their favorite songs during these hard times but also the data collected through the streaming platform helps artists win awards.
Global fans' outrage can be seen through hashtags like 'KakaoMOUT' believing KakaoM is responsible for pulling their favorite artists' music.
"Problem with taking away musicians from Spotify means that a lot of their streaming data has been erased. As many people know in Korea especially these numbers are really important for certain awards and having certain milestones."
"Other thing is that music especially at this time when we are all at home so much and streaming services are growing, what we have seen during the pandemic, is that your music collection and those certain playlists you have, it's a lot of comfort to lot of people."
Though both companies say they are trying their best to resolve the issue, the longer it continues, the more that both fans and artists will lose out.
Kim Bo-kyoung, Arirang News.