Blocking artists in Spotify will finally be possible
One of the strengths of Spotify and other streaming services is that they learn from the use we make of them. If we always play music by an artist, we are more likely to be recommended their next album, for example. At least, that’s the theory.
In practice, at Spotify we are constantly bombarded by artists and genres we don’t like. We can’t put a radio or a playlist without a song we don’t like appearing. It’s also possible that we’ve played an artist’s song to find out what it’s like, and we didn’t like it; but Spotify has come to the conclusion that he’s our new favourite artist and starts recommending his songs to us.
This is the big flaw in recommendation algorithms in general; now Spotify may have found the “solution”: the block artist button. Of course, it’s not that I “invented” anything; the ability to block artists is one of the most requested features by users.
Finally we will be able to block artists in Spotify
In Thurrott they were the first to discover this functionality, which is already being tested in the Spotify app for iOS. It’s a new button that appears on the artists’ page, along with the follow or radio button; it’s called “Don’t play this artist”, and it does exactly that. If we press it, then that artist’s songs will no longer appear on our playlists or radios.
This new feature is striking because Spotify has stated in the past that it was not going to implement it. But since then, things have changed; Spotify has been at the centre of several controversies over the content it allows on its platform.
The best-known case is that of rapper R. Kelly, accused of child sexual abuse. In response to the protests, Spotify decided to remove his songs from the playlists and implement a new policy; less than a month later, the company backed down from considering it could become a censorship body.
It’s no coincidence that Spotify is now testing the blocking feature. In this way, the users themselves could block the artists they want and the company could “wash its hands”.