Spotify CEO says they rolled out their hateful conduct policy in the wrong way

Daniel Ek thinks they "could have done a better job"

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek says the streaming giant rolled out their newly implemented hateful conduct policy in the wrong way.

The policy aims to promote “openness, diversity, tolerance and respect” stating 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”.

The policy saw Spotify removing R Kelly’s music from their operated playlists and algorithmic recommendations, seeking to “not actively promote it”. XXXTentacion‘s music was also pulled from Spotify’s playlists.


However, the policy didn’t go down well with some, including rapper Kendrick Lamar who threatened to pull his 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. Now Ek has opened up about the policy, telling Variety, “We rolled this out wrong and could have done a much better job.”

He continued, “The whole goal with this was to make sure that we didn’t have hate speech. It was never about punishing one individual artist or even naming one individual artist.”

Ek also took personal responsibility for the “botched rollout” and “deemed the policy too ambiguous and open to interpretation.”

Spotify will reportedly restore XXXTentacion’s music to its playlists following backlash from music industry professionals. Meanwhile, R. Kelly recently had his concerts cancelled due to the #MuteRKelly social campaign. The campaign called on companies working with Kelly to cut ties with the singer.

In a recent statement, the star said he is “heartbroken” by the allegations“, describing himself as “a God-fearing man, a son, a brother, and most importantly a father”.