Starting from February, several major Korean music distributors look to raise the prices for their music services.
On this past January 16, the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism has announced a decision to raise the rates of royalty pay in order to protect the rights and interests of music producers. As a result, MelOn, Soribada, Mnet, and other major Korean music distributors will raise their prices to secure profit margins starting February 22. For instance, it is expected that the price of monthly streaming services will rise from 3,600 won (approximately $3) to 4,200 won (approximately $3.50).
In order to win popularity and support from users, these music distribution companies are competing through various membership sales events. For example, MelOn offers additional benefits to SK Telecom users with the purchase of discounted three-month memberships. Mnet offers up to 39 percent discount on their three-month membership while Soribada discounts up to 65 percent for their six-month passes. These are expected to be the last events offered to users before the price changes.
Amidst the impending price hike, netizens express their concerns and complaints about the news. Some wonder if the raise in price will have an adverse affect of making illegal downloads more popular.