Spotify is rolling out an update allowing users to block specific artists from appearing on the music streaming platform, which is great news for everyone who is tired of particular pop mega-stars or might be avoiding the work of certain musos for ethical reasons.
As spotted by tech site Thurrott and reported by Billboard, the update presented to certain test users allows punters to access the “Don’t play this artist” option from an artist’s menu screen.
Blocking an artist won’t strip them from user or Spotify-generated playlists, nor Artist Radio. Instead, tracks by the blocked artist will simply be skipped, meaning you can go forever without hearing your least favourite muso, even if you’re listening to a playlist which would usually be packed with their work.
Nixing an artist will even bar them from your personal library, even if you followed them in the first place. Of course, the option is there to unblock those artists, too.
As it stands, certain iOs users with access to Spotify’s beta platform have observed the feature. The writer of this article, an Australian who uses Spotify on Android, does not yet have access to the block button.
The feature represents a simple if notable change for the company. By shifting the onus of responsibility onto users, the platform appears to be telling listeners to make their own decisions on whether they want be presented the music of alleged abusers like R. Kelly. That’s notable, considering Spotify’s short-lived 2018 decision to remove Kelly and XXXTentacion from promoted playlists was reversed after pressure from stars like Kendrick Lamar.
We’ll let you know if the feature ever expands so you can block artists from other accounts, thereby making countless office and bar playlists much, much better.