Deal clears way for K-pop on Spotify

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Deal clears way for K-pop on Spotify

A domestic music distributor has forged a deal with Spotify, a popular global music streaming site based in Sweden, to provide K-pop music.

Pison Contents, based in Gyeonggi province, said its subsidiary Music Spray will start global distribution of K-pop through Spotify next month.

Spotify is an emerging music on-demand service provider - available on computers and mobile devices in the form of an application - that currently has more than 30 million users in the United States and Europe. The service, launched in 2008, is not yet available in Korea, which is heavily dominated by domestic firms such as Melon, led by top mobile carrier SK Telecom and Soribada. The two make up over 60 percent of domestic market share.

Apple’s iTunes Music Store is not available in Korea, either and experts point to the much cheaper cost of digital music circulated in Korea compared with overseas. An MP3 file at Melon or Soribada is priced at almost a 10th the cost at iTunes.

Foreseeing promising prospects, a group of investors led by Goldman Sachs injected $100 million into Spotify in recognition of its $3 billion valuation in November last year.

Currently, Apple’s iTunes and Amazon account for more than 90 percent of the global digital music retail market, according to industry data.

Music Spray also distributes Korean-made digital music to iTunes and Amazon as an official business partner.

Music producers pay a membership fee to create an “artist account” at the Music Spray site and uploading the files will enable them to distribute their music across Korean as well as global music sites all at once. The earnings are automatically paid to music creators.

Pison says the service has paved way for lesser-known indie musicians in Korea to promote their music abroad.


By Seo Ji-eun [spring@joongang.co.kr]
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