Variety reports Spotify has swiftly reversed course on its recently introduced policy to ban artists who have engaged in “hate conduct” from promoted playlists, announcing Friday that it was dropping the plan.
“[W]hile we believe our intentions were good, the language was too vague, we created confusion and concern, and didn’t spend enough time getting input from our own team and key partners before sharing new guidelines,” the company said in a statement.
However, Spotify said it was keeping the ban against “hate content” in place.
On May 11, Spotify announced the new two-part policy against “hate content” and “hateful conduct” regarding the artists it chooses to promote — and was met with an immediate backlash in the music biz. Last week, reports emerged that Spotify was rethinking the decision to ban certain artists from playlists based on their “hateful conduct.” The company reinstated rapper XXXTentacion, but not another artist, R. Kelly.
CEO Daniel Ek, speaking at an industry conference this week, admitted Spotify botched the rollout of the new policy. “We rolled this out wrong and could have done a much better job,” Ek said Wednesday night, speaking at the Code Conference in a keynote Q&A.
In explaining the move Friday, Spotify said the “hate conduct” provision applied only to “rare cases of the most extreme artist controversies.”