Spotify to Move Back on XXXTentacion Policy After Outcry

Jack McKain


Spotify might be moving back on its decision to remove artists from its playlists. After instituting a new policy for handling “hate content” and “hateful conduct” earlier this month, the company removed artists like R. Kelly and XXXTentacion from its editorial and algorithmically-determined playlists, leading to public outcry from the music industry.

Now, Spotify is telling industry executives that it will eventually restore songs by XXXTentacion to playlists, as Bloomberg reports and as confirmed by Billboard. Spotify executives are currently speaking with both the music industry and civil-rights activists to determine the best course of action in the circumstances. According to Bloomberg, the policy changes are still being determined and final decisions have yet to be made. There are also no plans to further promote R. Kelly on the platform.

The issue has also sparked an internal backlash at Spotify, with the company’s head of artist relations Troy Carter announcing plans to potentially leave the company. “It is virtually impossible to police millions of songs, lyrics, contributors and artists,” said Vickie Nauman, an industry consultant who has worked with Spotify in the past.

“Where and how do you draw the line?,” Nauman continued. “I support taking a stand and not willingly sponsoring a known violent artist, but it’s quite unclear to me how you can consistently monitor and apply any sort of similar editorial/social/cultural standards across art on any scale.”

Read Bloomberg’s full report here.

Update: Following the publication of this article, Billboard independently confirmed that XXXTentacion's music would be returning to Spotify playlists.

This article originally appeared on SPIN.