Spotify, Pandora, and Apple All Booted R. Kelly From Their Playlists. It Had No Impact.

May 22, 2018, 3:07 PM UTC

When Spotify announced it was pulling the music of R. Kelly from its playlists earlier this month, it seemed like bad news for the R&B singer. When Apple Music and Pandora followed suit, it seemed worse.

So far, though, the actions haven’t made much of an effect on the singer’s income. In fact, on Spotify, streams of R. Kelly songs are actually slightly higher than they were before the changes.

Before the policy change on May 10, music from the entertainer, who has been accused of sexual abuse, but faces no criminal charges at this time, had an average of 6,584,000 streams per week. The week after the announcement, the songs were streamed 6,676,000 times.

The numbers, gathered by Nielsen Music, combine streams from Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and other services.

The decision to remove R. Kelly’s music from official playlists was part of a new Spotify policy prohibiting hateful content and conduct on the streaming service. The company did not remove his music from the service, but instead said it will no longer promote it.

“We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values,” the company said at the time. “When an artist or creator does something that is especially harmful or hateful, it may affect the ways we work with or support that artist or creator.”