Spotify has been trying to figure out a way to handle the existence of problematic artists on its platform since back in the summer. It started with a Hate Content & Harmful Conduct policy that drew controversy after the streamer removed artists like XXXTentacion and R. Kelly. That policy ended up being pulled, but now Spotify seems to have hit upon another solution: put the power in users’ hands.
The music streaming platform has quietly launched a new “Don’t play this artist” function, first spotted by Thurrott. By clicking on the button found on an artist’s main page, you can essentially mute them from your Spotify account. While songs by any muted artist will still appear on playlists, radio, and even searches, Spotify will simply skip them unless you specifically click on the tracks or remove the “Don’t play” designation.
The feature is currently only viewable on the Spotify app, but its function will translate to both the web player and desktop app.
It’s probably no coincidence that the feature has launched as the #MuteRKelly movement has picked up renewed steam following the Surviving R. Kelly documentary and subsequent fallout. While the R&B singer actually saw an increase in streams following Spotify’s Hate Content policy, he’s been dropped by his record label and seen a number of his collaborations pulled from streaming platforms.
Now thanks to “Don’t play this artist,” you won’t have to hear him — or any other music you don’t like for any particular reason — if you don’t want to.