A new “Don’t play this artist” option is now showing up when you tap the three dots on a artist’s page.
Strangely, when asked directly by a user on Twitter yesterday, whether this feature was available, Spotify claimed it wasn’t.
The change was noticed by Thurott writer Mehedi Hassan, who believes that they’re able to see the new option because of their beta access.
However we tested using a decidedly non-beta, free Spotify account in Canada, and we were able to see it on both Android and iOS.
Hassan said you can use it to “block music from an artist on automatically curated playlists like Discover Weekly, your Daily Mixes, as well as things like global charts.”
If this is accurate, it will give Spotify listeners an unprecedented amount of control over which artists are played (and paid) on the platform.
It also means it won’t be long before the feature becomes a stick with which activists can punish musicians they disagree with, for reasons that can range from stated political views (e.g.
Dixie Chicks), to allegations of criminal wrongdoing (e.g.
Kelly), and everything in between.
After deciding to block an artist, a small “no” sign appears in red on the artist’s page, replacing the favorite heart.
Undoing the block is as easy as tapping that no sign, or by tapping the three dots again and choosing the awkwardly named “Allow to play this artist” option.
Spotify listeners have been asking for this feature for several years, and it was looking as though the company had no interest in making it happen.
Given that music discovery is one of Spotify’s greatest strengths, it’s obvious why it had previously hesitated.
Now that things have obviously changed, we’ll have to wait and see what this means for both artists and music fans.
The block artist feature could become the musical equivalent of a social media filter bubble, whereby only viewpoints people agree with are allowed to take space on their feeds.
On the other hand, why should people be forced to reach for the skip button every time they hear a track from an artist they really don’t like?