Blocked on Spotify: The Public Has Spoken
With an upcoming update, Spotify will let you block music from any artist you don’t like throughout the app. This means it will block music from that artist on your personal library, playlists, automatically curated playlists, charts, radios, and everything else. In fact, you won’t be able to manually play music from an artist you’ve blocked even if you wanted to — and you’d have to unblock an artist before you can play a certain track from them.
I’ve seen this being sold as a way to no longer hear artists that annoyingly keep popping up in algorithmic playlists — the feature is touted as “much-requested” and I think that’s originally why it was requested — but it’s obvious this is Spotify’s way of dealing with deplorable artists on the platform. It’s a passing of the buck, if you will, after Spotify’s disastrous attempt at self-censorship.
I can’t say I blame Spotify for putting this decision in an individual user’s hands. At least they’re responding and doing something. Knowing Spotify, I’m sure there’s some data-gathering at play, too. It would be in the platform’s best interest to learn of artists that are being blocked en masse by its users. Then Spotify would be able to quietly downplay those artists in playlists and features. The public has spoken.
Update: Another take, Spotify’s New Mute Feature Is a Patronizing Misstep