Music streaming giant Spotify is to launch a localized service in South Korea in the first half of 2021. The move connects K-pop artists, such as BTS and Blackpink who are enjoying global success, with listeners in their home country.
“South Korea is key for Spotify in its mission of giving a million creative artists the opportunity to live off their art and billions of fans the opportunity to enjoy and be inspired by it. Spotify wants to help accelerate the growth of Korea’s entire music streaming ecosystem, benefitting artists, labels, distributors and fans,” the company said in a statement.
As well as producing some of the industry’s most successful contemporary music acts, Korea is the world’s sixth largest market according to IFPI. However, it is only the 64th territory in which Spotify has created a local service. The company claims more than 320 million users across 92 markets.
“Spotify has been a partner to the Korean music industry for many years now. We are proud to have been a part of the K-pop global story, showcasing the genre on our platform and enabling its discovery all over the world, from Asia to the US, South America, Europe and the Middle East,” said Alex Norstrom, chief freemium business officer of Spotify. “We’re looking forward to working with our valued local partners to uncover more Korean artists, and to connect them with fans in South Korea and all over the world.”
Since Spotify debuted its first K-pop playlist in 2014, listeners have streamed more than 180 billion minutes of the genre and added K-pop tracks to more than 120 million Spotify playlists. The share of K-pop listening has increased by more than 2,000% in the last six years, the company said.