R. Kelly’s Spotify streams continue to climb despite loss of Spotify promotion
R. Kelly’s Spotify streams have increased despite the music service’s recent removal of the artist’s music from its algorithmic and curated playlists under its new hate content and hateful conduct policy. Although Spotify did not wholly remove R. Kelly’s music from the platform at the time, it did cease to promote Kelly’s music, given several allegations of sexual misconduct that had been made against Kelly by women who claimed that Kelly had coerced them into being members of a sexual “cult.”
“When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful (for example, violence against children and sexual violence), it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator,”states Spotify’s policy.
Kelly has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct.
The expulsion of R. Kelly’s music from Spotify’s featured playlists means that app users will have to specifically search for Kelly’s music in order to listen to it. “Ignition- Remix,” for instance, will no longer appear on a Spotify curated playlist like ‘Weekend.’ Apple Music and Pandora have since followed in Spotify’s footsteps to likewise cease promotion of Kelly’s music.
Despite the lack of algorithmic Spotify support of Kelly’s music, streams of R. Kelly’s music increased to 6,676,600 during the week of May 10-16, marking an upward trend from Kelly’s average of 6,584,000 weekly streams. Spotify has also halted promotion of rapper XXXTentacion’s music following domestic abuse allegations, but XXXTentacion’s music saw a general dip in stream counts, with his hit song ‘SAD!’ losing 17% of its usual streams over the past week. The statistics, however, are currently too new to lead to any concrete conclusions regarding the relationship between retracted Spotify support and stream counts.
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