The move sparked a backlash from some users, even though the music streamer did not remove Kelly's content from its platform. "What we wanted to be was just transparent," Ek reiterated to attendees at the annual tech event, which was held at Terranea in Palos Verdes, Calif.
He later clarified that the policy is still active today, even though Spotify has been listening to feedback from multiple parties and "iterating" on it "just like we would anything else."
The CEO's Code interview was Ek's first public appearance in the nearly two months since he took his company public through an unconventional direct listing. Spotify's shares are currently trading just above $156, up more than one percent from the previous day.
The company is facing increased competition from Apple and YouTube, which both offer music streaming rivals to Spotify. Two-year-old Apple Music has passed 50 million paid and free members, while YouTube recently launched revamped app YouTube Music. Spotify, meanwhile, has 75 million paid subscribers for its premium offering and 170 million total members for its free, ad-supported app.
Although Spotify's rivals have deep pockets and powerful businesses that should help their push into music streaming, Ek said that the problem of going against entrenched competitors is "not unique to Spotify." He added, "one of the real iportant things is that this platform remains open."
Prior to its IPO, Spotify made a much-discussed push into original video production with a slate of music-themed shortform series. But the architect of that plan, Tom Calderone, departed Spotify last summer and the streamer brought in former Maker Studios executive Courtney Holt to replace him. Since then, Spotify has been focused on core products like curated playlist RapCaviar, but Ek says he expect video to grow on the platform. "We have to get it right for what consumers want," he notes. "Over time, video will be a more important part of our platform than what it is today."
This article originally appeared in THR.com.