Spotify is set for an uphill battle in S. Korea

Spotify Technology SA, which opened its service in South Korea earlier this month, is expected to face strong competition in the music streaming market that is currently dominated by local players.

Although the Swedish company is one of the world’s leading audio streaming services, with 345 million users across 93 markets, it opposes home services based in South Korea – the sixth largest music market in the world. the world – such as tech giant Melon Kakao Corp., Genie Music under telecom operator KT Corp. and competing carrier SK Telecom’s Flo.

As of last October, Melon has been ranked as the nation’s leading music streaming service with 8.81 million monthly active users, followed by Genie Music at 4.47 million and Flo at 2.86 million, according to mobile controller IGAWorks.

Spotify has stated that it aims to succeed in the local market with playlists designed specifically for South Korean audiences created using its latest algorithm and a team of experts K-pop.

The giant’s discovery of an audio stream of more than 70 million tracks and 4 billion playlists, however, with songs from some of South Korea’s top artists, such as IU, leaves many wondering if it will follow Apple’s path Music, which struggled to attract users after failing to secure local music.

Spotify has yet to make a deal with entertainment giant Kakao M, the country’s leading music distributor and Kakao subsidiary.

The Swedish audio giant is still betting on its wider platform coming off, with its podcast service ready for launch in the country sometime this year.

The company said it will aim to source local podcast content as well as provide original and exclusive podcasts to the country.

Spotify also needs to suspend competition from new competitors in the audio streaming sector, such as Clubhouse’s chat-club social media service.

The invite-only app, developed by U.S.-based Alpha Exploration Co., has recently taken South Korea’s online forums by storm, with users selling app invitations on-line. line for up to 19,000 winners ($ 17).

Spotify’s entry into South Korea has helped local competitors to strengthen their services.

Genie Music announced earlier this month that it will provide a real-time playlist of songs that will appear on TV music competition programs and set up an open music database feature in which users can participate.

Flo teamed up with local bookstore service Welaaa last month to offer audiobooks on the music streaming platform. (Yonhap)