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South Korean music fans to pay more as mobile music services drop discount rates



The South Korean mobile music services have hiked up their subscription fees after a new copyright royalty regulations went into effect on 2nd January, 2019.

The new regulations demand that mobile music services must pay up 65% of returns to copyright holders, instead of 60% which was earlier paid to the copyright holders.

With new regulations in place, mobile music services have slashed the discount rates for downloading a certain number of tracks. This move translates to the fact that South Korean music fans who download music will now have to pay a higher subscription fee.

There have been cases where service providers have offered upto 50% discount for users who’ve purchased a 30-song package – a month-long package. Now that rate has fallen to 40% in 2019 and it is most likely to drop further. Also, 50-song download packages, too, will see a similar effect.

Download packages – a popular format – have become more expensive as they rely on actually owning the songs. Under new regulations, discounts have dropped from 59.1% to 50.9% and it has been predicted that discount rates will reach 0% by 2021.

The new regulation hasn’t so far affected the streaming services as mobile music providers have retained the prices of streaming plans.

Popular South Korean music service provider Melon has increased the 50-song download package rates from ₩15,000 ($14.10) to ₩20,000 ($17.86). Their monthly subscription has also seen an increase to ₩19,000 ($16.97). However, Melon’s unlimited streaming music service – Mobile Streaming Club subscription fee has been retained at ₩7,400 ($6.61).

Genie Music follows Melon’s footsteps

Another such popular music service bigwig, Genie Music, hiked it rates post the implementation of new copyright regulations. Its mobile-only service currently stands at ₩7,400 ($6.61) and the unlimited streaming service package costs ₩8,400 ($7.50). Genie Music’s five-song download package now costs ₩3,300 ($2.95) whereas its 10-song package costs ₩5,500 ($4.92).

It has been predicted that the music service fees in the country will continue to rise as discount packages will soon be abolished.


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