Spotify hits pause on its 'hate conduct' policy

R Kelly
R Kelly. Photo credit: Getty

Music streaming service Spotify has withdrawn a policy which saw the removal of R Kelly's music from its playlists.

R Kelly has been accused of sexual impropriety by a number of women, although he hasn't been charged with any crime.

Spotify and Apple Music removed his music from playlists in response to the Time's Up campaign's #muteRKelly push on social media.

Spotify's 'Hate Content and Hateful Conduct' policy was brought in a few weeks ago, but the backlash saw some of music's biggest names threatening to withdraw their music from the world's biggest music streaming service, including Kendrick Lamar.

In a post on its site, Spotify said the policy was "too vague" and had "created confusion and concern".

"We created concern that allegations might affect artists' chances of landing on a Spotify playlist and negatively impact their future. Some artists even worried that mistakes made in their youth would be used against them. That's not what Spotify is about."

So the policy of not letting music by artists facing allegations appear on its playlists is gone, but Spotify is sticking by its banning of hate content.

"If you are talking about being KKK and doing that kind of stuff, I think it's pretty obvious that we don't want you on the service," Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek said.

R Kelly's music wasn't removed from the site, it just wasn't allowed on playlists.

So while the 'Ignition' singer is back in the site's good books, artists who promote hate in their lyrics are still banned.

Apple Music has yet to change its policy muting, but not banning, R Kelly.

Spotify has more than 70 million paying subscribers, and millions more using the free service.