Kakao M have released their official statement regarding the removal of their artists from Spotify globally.
In their statement, Kakao M explained why all of the artists they distribute music for have been removed from the streaming platform.
We asked for a renewal of the existing contract, but Spotify notified us of the expiration of overseas contracts.
Kakao M has been in discussions with Spotify regarding a domestic (Korean) contract for supplying music to the service, which is unrelated to the previously existing global licensing agreement. We are still negotiating the domestic contract, but Spotify notified us of the expiration of our global licenze on February 28, and we requested a renewal of the global contract.
Due to Spotify’s policy that we must renew the domestic and global contacts at the same time, our global contract with them has expired. We are currently still negotiating the contract to supply Spotify with our music.
— Kakao M
When the clock struck March 1, midnight KST, all of the songs distributed by Kakao M that were released after 2019 were removed from Spotify. Spotify later confirmed that all of Kakao M’s distributed songs were removed due to their contract to license the songs ending, and are attempting to work with Kakao M to restore access to their songs.