Korean Music Streaming Sites May Increase Prices Due To Changes In Fee Regulations

Korean music streaming sites may be raising their prices soon.

Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism announced a proposed amendment to the fee regulations for music streaming sites to change the profit distribution between the artists and the online music streaming platforms. As a result, popular music streaming sites such as Melon Music, Genie Music, and Bugs may all be raising their usage fees significantly.

The amendment was submitted by the four corporate organizations, “Korea Music Copyright Association (KOMCA),” “The Korean Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (KOSCAP),” “Federation of Korean Music Performers (FKMP),” and “Recording Industry Association of Korea (RIAK).” The proposed amendment makes price hikes for the consumer inevitable as the fees collected from music service platforms are expected to rise sharply.

More specifically, the proposed amendment raises the price of a bundle of 30-song downloads from a standard of 9,000 won (approximately $8.46) up to 16,000 won (approximately $15.04). In the case of unlimited streaming and downloads, the price may triple from 10,000 won (approximately $9.40) to 34,000 won (approximately $31.96).

While the amendment to the fee regulations does include some aspects of protecting the rights of artists and other content creators, there are also concerns that it may shrink the music market and ultimately, negatively impact the rights and interests of artists and consumer welfare.

In response, a source from an online market commented, “The amendment submitted by the four organizations requires careful review and consideration in order to support both the growth of the music market and protect the rights of consumers.”

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism will continue to review the amendments submitted by organizations throughout the two-week period starting on March 29, before issuing new regulations following deliberation with the Korea Copyright Commission.

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