Entertainment

Hundreds of K-Pop songs by KakaoM removed from Spotify

Including songs from IU, LOONA, Dreamcatcher, GFRIEND, SEVENTEEN, MAMAMOO, and more

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Image by GadgetMatch

K-Pop has been making waves both in South Korea and outside their homeland. And with the recent launch of Spotify Korea, international fans are expecting it to be recognized by major Korean music shows as an additional attempt in making more underrated artists and groups succeed without totally relying on Korean streaming platforms and Korean fans alone. But the recent feud between KakaoM and Spotify put everything to a screeching halt.

What is KakaoM?

KakaoM is a large co-publisher of K-Pop albums by Korean artists. Other than being a music publishing house, they’re also a music and concert production house, events management agency, talent agency, and even a record label. This basically means they can handle everything from handling K-Pop trainees and talents, up to pre-production, production, and post-production phases of a single, EP, mini album, or even a full album.

Image by GadgetMatch

Other than KakaoM’s in-house artists like IU (under EDAM Entertainment), Apink, VICTON, and Weeekly (under PlayM Entertainment), as well as non-KakaoM talents such as LOONA, Dreamcatcher, MAMAMOO, GFRIEND, SEVENTEEN, HyunA, and (G)-IDLE, this long Twitter thread shows the full list of K-Pop groups, duos, and soloists that are handled and/or whose albums were published by KakaoM:

Explaining the fiasco

Image by GadgetMatch

In an article published by the Korean site NAVER, Spotify has informed that KakaoM was unable to extend the validity of the agreement. Thus, effectively ending the contract today, March 1, 2021. Spotify also reported that they’ve been keeping in touch with KakaoM for a year but to no avail. They even said that KakaoM never informed the artists nor their respective agencies prior to the cancellation.

KakaoM isn’t totally a stranger in such issues. This already happened in 2019 when KakaoM failed to mass produce LOONA’s “[X X]” albums despite the large volumes of album pre-orders. That hindered LOONA from getting their first win in a music show. It even came to a point where they failed to renew LOONA’s songs listed under them in Spotify.

This also has a massive effect among international K-Pop artists and fans in general. With the large number of groups and artists alone, Spotify not only helps them get on a larger scale outside Korea, but it also contributes records to music charts such as Billboard.

Streaming charts have always been a big deal among K-Pop fans. With Spotify’s recent entry in the Korean music industry, fans have speculated that this unsettled agreement between Spotify and KakaoM was due to the fact that they don’t want to lose Melon, which is Korea’s top and largest music streaming platform with 28 million subscribers.

Other than the reliance of chartings and rankings by music shows such as Mnet’s M Countdown, KBS’s Music Core, SBS’s Inkigayo, MBC’s Music Core, and more, the streaming platform is owned by none other than KakaoM. This is a speculation all along but the fact that Spotify has 345+ million subscribers in 170 markets dwarfs Melon alone.

Stan Twitter memes everywhere

Some fans were able to make humor out of this controversy.

With KakaoM’s Melon ownership, international fans have joked around that signing up to Melon will never happen.

The fury of the K-Pop international fanbase might have made KakaoM realize their wrong action.

Orbits aren’t late to the meme party

It seems like every K-Pop fan is transferring to YouTube Music (not even Apple Music)

KakaoM as Thanos, anyone?

Memes aside, Spotify has re-assured fans that this issue is temporary and can still be resolved once KakaoM reaches a new global deal. Fans (like me) are hoping that KakaoM will settle this as soon as possible or this might be a huge loss not just to them, but for fans, artists, and their respective agencies as well.

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Netflix is losing a lot of long-term subscribers

People are switching

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The Netflix revolution was indeed televised. However, after enjoying years of success as the streaming platform of choice, a lot of users are now leaving Netflix for greener pastures. Over the past few months, the company has struggled to patch its failures. A recently released data report does confirm that the platform has a right to worry. More and more long-term subscribers are reportedly cutting their subscriptions short.

According to The Information, around 13 percent of Netflix cancelers in the past quarter are from accounts that have been with the platform for over three years. The data, which was reportedly obtained from Antenna, pegs cancelations at around 3.6 million Americans, a big increase from the 2.5 million of the past five quarters.

Though 13 percent isn’t exactly a giant figure, it’s still a blow to Netflix’s empire. While streaming platform rightly focus on gaining new subscribers, losing the loyalty of long-term users isn’t something to shrug off.

Since announcing lost expectations, Netflix announced ways to save on costs and retain its subscribers. Other methods include canceling projects, opening a games division, and potentially charging users more for account sharing. Naturally, not every plan hits users the same way.

In the meantime, other platforms — like Disney+, HBO, and Hulu — are attracting more users with more varied and exclusive content. Regardless, Netflix is skidding down a slope. Only time will tell whether its latest strategies will stave off more losses.

SEE ALSO: Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content

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Entertainment

Netflix is experimenting with livestreaming content

For reality shows and comedy specials

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Netflix is in a bit of a rough patch. After losing subscribers for the first time, the platform is trying other strategies to retain its userbase including more stringent ways to police password sharing. This time, Netflix is trying a more additive approach. According to a report, the company is experimenting with livestreaming content.

First reported by Deadline, the company is currently in the early stages of creating such content. More specifically, Netflix will try the format for its catalog of “unscripted shows and stand-up specials.” There is no timetable for the experiment’s launch, but the company hopes to launch it soon.

A move towards livestreaming does make sense with Netflix’s current catalog of titles. Over the years, the platform has slowly curated an expansive lineup of reality shows and stand-up comedy specials. For example, Netflix’s Drive to Survive quickly became one of its biggest titles in reality television, bringing a lot of eyes to Formula One racing. Likewise, the platform has always been a stronghold for comedy specials since the advent of its popularity.

Besides its strong slate of content, the company has also experimented with user input including shows that mimicked Choose Your Own Adventure books. Under a livestreaming format, the audience might be able to provide input for the title as well, such as voting for (or against) contestants in a game show.

That said, it’s still too early to tell how livestreaming might appear on Netflix. For now, at least.

SEE ALSO: Netflix considers cheaper, ad-supported subscription

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Entertainment

Campaign putting seizure, epilepsy warnings to YouTube gaming content initiated

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Seizure Warning

Whenever on YouTube, people tend to have the urge to skip annoying or uninteresting ads.

But Digitas Philippines is trying to change that with an all-important online campaign that puts the safety of the gaming community first.

With the Seizure Warning Pre-Rolls project, Digitas Philippines turns YouTube’s 6-second pre-rolls before videos play into dedicated spaces, where instead of ads, PSAs get played.

Digitas will focus on showing warnings that effectively alert viewers of possible adverse of conditions such as seizures and photosensitive epilepsy.

To ensure that such warnings draw the attention of YouTube viewers, Digitas’ team included flashy animations, fast and mind-bending gameplay, and vivid, ultra-colorful visuals.

Such components make gaming content extremely visually stimulating, yet can also seriously affect those who have had seizures or epilepsy in the past, as well as those who have not had them before.

Avoiding risk on YouTube 

With more than 40 million active gaming channels, users definitely have a chance of running into possible seizure risks.

This pushed Digitas to jumpstart the campaign, trying to address the lack of warning signs before the start of videos and more.

Through their campaign, notices will be placed before anyone views gaming-related content to boost safety and lower the risk of getting a seizure or epilepsy.

The initiative will already cover all YouTube videos with gaming content tags in its initial phase. It will feature highly-targeted and specific warning messages for viewers’ protection.

The group is also in the process of partnering with more institutions to follow up and go beyond the first phase.

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