Last week, Spotify announced their “Anti-Hate Policy” which resulted in the streaming service pulling several alleged problematic artists on their editorial playlists. R. Kelly, Tay-K and XXXTENTACION were a few artists who have been pulled from their playlists. However, Kellz music was also slowly and quietly pulled from Pandora and Apple Music playlists as well. While you’d think this would affect R. Kelly’s streaming numbers, it reportedly did the contrary.
According to Nielsen Music, R. Kelly’s streaming numbers have remained intact despite several prominent streaming services pulling his music from their playlists, Hollywood Reporter reports. Spotify made the announcement on May 10th and prior to that, Kellz was hitting an average of 6,584,000 streams a week during the year, However, from May 10th-16th, the singer’s streams grew to 6,676,000 for the week. Nielsen Music’s bases their numbers off of Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora and other streaming services.
In the past two years, his music was still increasing on streaming services. In 2016, he averaged 4,709,000 streams per week and in 2017, he saw an average of 5,666,000 streams. He’s reaching an average off 6,674,000 weekly streams this year.
Shauna Thomas, women’s advocacy group UltraViolet co-founder and executive director, says it’s not about people not listening to the artists but rather, these companies to stop helping these artists promote their music.
“Frankly it’s not important in this context whether people are listening to his music or not, what’s important is that Spotify is holding itself to the standard that they themselves established and they live up to it,” She said. “This is really just about stepping into the role of champion, stepping into the role of setting the higher standard that I think they’ve put themselves on the track to do, and hopefully they’ll do the right thing.”