Artists Strike Back At Spotify After Its Censorship Policy & The Streaming Service Is Backing Down
After pushback from several artists and powerful music industry insiders, allegedly including Kendrick Lamar and his TDE record label, Spotify has reportedly decided to scale back its policy of punishing artists for personal misconduct, to some degree. The streaming company has reportedly told record-label executives, managers, and artists that it will eventually restore songs by Florida star rapper XXXTentacion to playlists.
Representatives for several acts, including Lamar, called Spotify CEO Daniel Ek and Head Of Artist Relations Troy Carter to express their frustration.Per Bloomberg, “they even threatened to pull their music if the company maintained its current policy.” Earlier this month, Terrence “Punch” Henderson of TDE deemed the censorship “dangerous” in an online tweet.The article reports that Carter “told [three] associates that he planned to leave Spotify following the incident.”
According to Bloomberg, the company’s top executives are speaking with some music industry leaders and civil-rights activists about proper protocol in regards to how and when to adjust its rules and enforce them that will make both Spotify and the artists using their service happy.
Previously, it was reported that Spotify was removing R. Kelly (along with XXXTentacion) from its playlists in reaction to the #MuteRKelly campaign. At the time, the multi-billion dollar music influencer said it was “removing R. Kelly’s music from its editorial and algorithmic playlists as part of its updated policy toward hate content and hateful conduct.” The R&B singer inadvertently was part of a precedent for other artists who were eventually targeted. As mentioned, XXX’ was also someone whose music was tagged for removal from playlists after he was charged with battering a pregnant woman.
Spotify’s policy regarding punishing artists for outside-of-music conduct is reportedly still being hammered out with no final decisions being made. While the company/platform’s initial decision to remove R. Kelly and XXXTentacion’s music from their promoted playlists, it also caught a lot of backlash from artists and executives who believed the action was too subjective and could lead to a slippery slope.
Ambrosia For Heads will keep you updated.