The new policy removed artists R. Kelly and XXXTentacion from playlists
Spotify plan on walking back on the changes they made to their streaming platform through a new hate content policy, reportedly following pressure from representatives of artists including rapper Kendrick Lamar.
Spotify’s changes to their platform comes as part of the streaming service’s new Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy, which aims to promote “openness, diversity, tolerance and respect”.
This initially took the form of “removing R Kelly’s music from all Spotify owned and operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations”, seeking to “not actively promote it”. It was reported later, however, that Kelly’s streams actually increased in the week his tracks were removed from playlists. In March, R&B performer Kelly was accused of grooming a 14 year-old girl to be his sex “pet” in a BBC documentary.
The policy notes that: “When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator”.
However, as Bloomberg reports, the policy is now being changed after frustrations have been voiced by representatives of artists like Kendrick Lamar. The representatives reportedly called Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and head of AR Troy Carer to threaten to pull their music from the platform if the policy remained in its current state.
Spotify employees were also critical of the new policy due to its rash implementation. The policy saw the removal of XXXTentacion’s music from playlists and his single “SAD!” lose 17% of streams within the week.