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Spotify rolls out new feature allowing users to mute artists

In response to the viral  #MuteRKelly movement, following years of sexual misconduct allegations against the singer, Spotify is rolling out a new feature to allows users to mute artists. While Kelly has never been convicted of a crime, sources told Billboard that the R&B artist has cut ties with his longtime label, Sony Music, as well as his publisher, Universal.

To engage the new “mute” feature, which was quietly rolled out this week, Spotify users simply have to click a button located in the menu area for every artist, “Don’t play this artist.” The feature is only accessible on mobile for now, but once an artist is blocked it also applies to the desktop player.

What the feature doesn’t do is completely block the artist from a user’s Spotify account. The artist and their songs will continue to appear in searches, playlists, charts, and radio. But they won’t be played unless users manually click on their tracks.

Last May, Spotify unveiled a new hateful conduct policy, which essentially removed all of R. Kelly’s music from the streaming company’s curated playlists. While the move was praised by many, it was a red flag for some music industry professionals because it presented a slippery slope precedent. Spotify ultimately reversed the decision after being publicly strongarmed by Kendrick Lamar.