Earlier this month, Spotfiy started implementing new policies meant to take away controversial and “hateful” artists from promoted positions all through its platform—which notably resulted in R. Kelly getting bounced from playlists. However, the music streaming platform seems to be persevering with to advertise merchandise from artists in violation of its pointers.
Mashable pointed out that the merchandise web page for R. Kelly remains to be up and working, full with an affiliate hyperlink that leads the person a third-party website the that sells the merchandise. Spotify advised Mashable it “do[es] not take any percentage of merch sales on the platform.”
Gizmodo reached out to Spotify and Merchbar, the merchandise website in query, for clarification on the partnership and whether or not Spotify makes a fee on gross sales by means of affiliate hyperlinks. We will replace this put up if we hear again.
Spotify hasn’t been capable of provide a proof as to why it makes use of affiliate hyperlinks to ship customers to Merchbar. Those sorts of hyperlinks are usually used to trace the place a purchaser got here from and to offer a minimize of the sale to the referring service. Spotify first announced its partnership with Merchbar in 2016 however didn’t present any particulars about profit-sharing or income splits. Spotify’s monetary disclosures don’t seem to make any reference to Merchbar or affiliate gross sales.
Continuing to supply merchandise of controversial artists doesn’t essentially undermine Spotify’s obvious makes an attempt to shrink their presence on the platform. A person would nonetheless need to exit of their technique to discover the artist web page and click on on the “Merchandise” tab to see what is on the market earlier than being redirected to the Merchbar web site.
It does go to point out simply how sloppily Spotify’s new “hate content” rule seems to have been crafted and utilized, although. The streaming service introduced final week that it could begin punishing artists that produce hateful content material or “ have demonstrated hateful conduct personally,” which might cowl an enormous swath of musicians who’ve their music on the platform.
R. Kelly is just about a no brainer for removing underneath the coverage, given the two decades worth of accusations of sexual abuse dedicated by the artist in addition to rumors that he created a sex cult. But it’s potential to make a case in opposition to different artists must be hit with the identical punishment. The girls’s advocacy group Ultraviolet recently asked Spotify to take away plenty of different artists from its playlists over accusations of abuse, together with Chris Brown, Eminem, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Spotify seems to have opened a can of worms with its hate content material coverage, and irrespective of how well-intentioned the foundations could also be, it might show tough to implement them in a manner that satisfies everybody.