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Spotify Softly Rolls Out Feature Allowing Users to Block Artists

More choices to filter and customize your music. If you have an iPhone, that is.

CaDarius B.

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Spotify recently launched a new feature allowing users to block music from artists they don’t like — or aren’t in the mood for.

According to reports, the new tool is only available via the music platform’s iOS app. It comes after the streaming company received backlash after attempting to limit promotion of XXXTentacion and R. Kelly’s music on their editorial and algorithmic playlist, in May 2018.

Perks of the new feature include listeners being given the ability to prevent the playing of a blocked artist’s music from their personal library, playlists, automatically curated playlists, charts, and radio channels. In addition, users can choose to prevent manual play of an artist they’ve previously blocked. The artist would have to unblocked in order to play the track.

The features seems to set up the possibility of a toxic-free-music-day: you’ve come across old classics forgotten about, discovered new artists to fall in love with, and then you hear a song from one of your favorite artists, and it features an artist you’ve blocked, will it still play?

Yes, it will.

iOS users can utilize the new tool by tapping the ellipsis (…) button in the top right hand corner of an artist’s page. Once the extended menu has opened,  click “don’t play this artist.” The block feature has received a soft/quiet rollout, according to reports. Desktop and Android OS users don’t have access to the self-curation tool, and there is no word when the feature will be available to them.

Blocking Ariana. (Screenshot from Spotify IOS)

Spotify hasn’t elaborated on why the feature was launched, the life of it or, when it will be accessible everywhere. A statement would be expected, considering how quickly they responded to their Hateful Conduct policy, following Top Dawg Entertainment’s CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith contacting Spotify’s CEO, threatening to remove his artists’ music.

Spotify did release a statement June 2018, detailing where, as a company, the ball was dropped. They apologized for the mistake and clarified the company’s focus:

That’s not what Spotify is about. We don’t aim to play judge and jury. We aim to connect artists and fans – and Spotify playlists are a big part of how we do that. Our playlist editors are deeply rooted in their respective cultures, and their decisions focus on what music will positively resonate with their listeners. That can vary greatly from culture to culture, and playlist to playlist. Across all genres, our role is not to regulate artists. Therefore, we are moving away from implementing a policy around artist conduct.

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

CaDarius is a novice music journalist who offers his latest critiques on pop culture, Black entertainment, and reality television. A few of his favorite artists are 2 Chainz, Future, H.E.R., SZA, and Ludacris. While some of his favorite genres are R&B (especially 90s) and Hip-Hop. In Spring 2017, he graduated from Lamar University, obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications. In his free time, he enjoys discovering new ways to relax.

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