Spotify Ends Misconduct Policy After Music-Industry Revolt

June 08

  Spotify Technology rescinded a short-lived policy that penalised artists for misconduct, bowing to pressure from irate musicians and record labels.

The policy, which was implemented in May, saw the streaming service remove singer R Kelly’s and rapper XXXTentacion music from their playlist in response to respective abuse allegations made against them.

In a statement released last month, Spotify said the decision was made because they wanted their “editorial decisions, what we choose to program, to reflect our values."

The policy didn’t specify which behavior it considered hateful, and Spotify didn’t communicate its plans with the music industry in advance.

However they have now change tact, with the company saying their previous policy had created "confusion and concern".

In a statement, the company said they were reversing the policy because “we created concern that allegations might affect artists' chances of landing on a Spotify playlist and negatively impact their future. Some artists even worried that mistakes made in their youth would be used against them. That's not what Spotify is about."

The change in approach comes after Anthony Tiffith, the CEO of Top Dawg Entertainment, the record label of Kendrick Lamar, SZA and Schoolboy Q threatened to remove music if the policy was enforced.

Speaking to Billboard, Tiffith argued that their approach was tantamount to censorship and questioned whether they were targeting certain artists in a specific genre.

"I expressed how I felt about it, about censorship, how you can't do artists that way,” Tiffith explained. "How come they didn't pick out any others from any other genres? It seems to me that they're constantly picking on hip-hop culture. My whole thing with them was, we gotta fix this situation, and if it can't be fixed, then there's gonna be a real problem, we're gonna have to start pulling our music from the site."