Earlier this month, Spotify announced the removal of XXXTentacion and R. Kelly’s music from promoted playlists as part of a new Hate Content & Hateful Content policy. Tonight during his keynote Q&A at the Code Conference, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek expressed regret over how the policy was introduced, Variety reports.
“We rolled this out wrong and could have done a much better job,” said Ek. “The whole goal with this was to make sure that we didn’t have hate speech. It was never about punishing one individual artist or even naming one individual artist.” According to Variety, Ek “took personal responsibility for the botched rollout” and “deemed the policy too ambiguous and open to interpretation.”
Last week, it was reported by Bloomberg that Spotify will “eventually restore” XXXTentacion’s music to its playlists following an outcry from music industry professionals. Spotify and XXXTentacion representatives have yet to respond to Pitchfork’s multiple requests for confirmation and further comment.
In the initial announcement, Spotify announced the policy in an attempt to promote “openness, diversity, tolerance and respect.” Kelly was specifically mentioned in the company’s statement to Billboard. “His music will still be available on the service, but Spotify will not actively promote it,” the statement said. “We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behaviour, but we want our editorial decisions—what we choose to program—to reflect our values.” The company later confirmed to The New York Times that XXXTentacion’s music would be removed from playlists, as well.