Spotify has begun testing a new “Don’t play this artist” feature with its iOS app that will soon let users block or mute musicians of their choice from appearing on libraries, playlists, radios, searches, and curated charts. The feature will be rolling out in an upcoming update, according to 9to5 Mac.
The feature will be available as a toggle button under the “…” menu on an artist’s page. Once activated, the selected artist will no longer appear on a user’s Spotify account, including Discover Weekly and Daily Mixes, which are playlists and groups of playlists specifically tailored for each user. Much like the block feature on any social media site, these artists will also not appear in search results. Even if an artist is already in a playlist, their music will not be played unless manually unblocked.
An exception to the new feature is when an artist is featured on another artist’s track. In other words, the feature will block tracks that primarily belong to the selected artist.
“Don’t play this artist” is currently only available to a small handful of iOS users, but will likely be rolled out to more devices soon.
Many social media users appear to be excited for the new feature, with some already planning out which artists they are going to block.
“My targets for the new @Spotify mute/block feature are all the bands they repeatedly recommend on my Discover list despite not having saved/followed any of them,” one user said.
Another pointed out that the feature will likely affect streaming charts.
— MobileSyrup (@MobileSyrup) January 21, 2019
“Are we being fed some of this music or is it being sought out?” they asked.
Of course, with the new feature, Spotify may keep track of which artists are blocked the most. As another user asked, which artists will be in the top five?
The new feature comes as artists are removing their collaborations with R. Kelly from streaming services in light of the sexual assault allegations made against the rapper, Pitchfork reported. Last year, Spotify did remove music from both R. Kelly and XXXTentacion from its algorithmic playlists in compliance with their Hate Content & Hateful Conduct policy. However, the service faced backlash from fans following the decision and restored the music a few weeks later.
“Across all genres, our role is not to regulate artists. Therefore, we are moving away from implementing a policy around artist conduct,” a statement from Spotify read at the time.