Spotify may already have to backtrack on its policy limiting promotion for artists based on their conduct. Bloomberg sources have heard that it will alter the conduct policy in response to an uproar over its decision to pull XXXTentacion's music from playlists for his behavior, including charges for allegedly beating a pregnant woman. Artists like Kendrick Lamar reportedly called Spotify chief Daniel Ek and artist relations head Troy Carter to not only show their displeasure, but to threaten to pull their music from the service if it didn't make changes.
Carter threatened to leave, according to the tipsters, but he decided to stay put after promises of reform from Ek. There's no talk of restoring R. Kelly's music.
The parties involved have declined to comment so far. However, the incident illustrates the gray areas involved with Spotify's new policy. At what point does an artist's off-stream conduct go too far, for example? And can these artists do anything to restore trust (such as XXXTentacion's donation to domestic violence prevention programs)? While Spotify doesn't want to be seen as tacitly ignoring or endorsing horrific acts, there's a concern the policy is too subjective and could be prone to racism or other forms of bias.