Spotify decided to remove R Kelly and the rappers XXXTentacion and Tay-K from the streaming service’s playlist. “We rolled this out wrong and could have done a much better job,” Daniel Ek said.
According to the policy, it stated that it doesn’t censor content due to a recording artist’s or creator’s behavior. Instead, they want their editorial decisions to reflect the company values. Whenever a creator or a recording artist does something that is hateful (such as violence against children or sexual assault), or harmful, it may adversely affect the ways that Spotify works with that particular artist.
While this policy was sound good on paper, it was far less successful from an implementation standpoint. An imminent backlash occured within and outside Spotify once this policy was announced. In the beginning, it affected only three artists (R Kelly, Tay-K and XXXTentacion), which resulted in cries of censorship from the music business, and it subsequently raised questions over racial implication of this policy (where only African American artists, and rappers in particular, were targeted).
This policy was challenged by the reps of XXXTentacion and R Kelly, and it also drew criticism from the representatives of Kendrick Lamar, all of which contacted the Spotify CEO to voice their concerns.
A popular music streaming service, Spotify has over 170 million users, and it is credited for reviving the music business. In this instance, it conceded that its hate content and hateful conduct policy was “rolled out wrong.”