R. Kelly was convicted. What happens to his music on streaming platforms?

In May 2018, Spotify removed R. Kelly’s music from its official playlists. The biggest music streaming app in America said it wanted its “editorial decisions — what we choose to program — to reflect our values.”

Three years later, Kelly’s tracks are still absent from Spotify’s influential curated packages. But the disgraced superstar’s full discography was still available on the service’s app as of Tuesday morning, a day after he was found guilty on all acounts in a sex-trafficking trial.

Kelly’s music was also easily accessible on Spotify’s major competitors, including Apple Music, Amazon Music and the Google-owned provider YouTube Music.

In the wake of Monday’s verdict, some on social media redoubled their efforts to push the major music streaming services to pull Kelly’s discography, arguing in part that it was wrong to provide a global platform — and possible royalty revenues — to a convicted serial sexual predator.

Spotify, Apple, Amazon and YouTube did not immediately respond to questions Tuesday about what they planned to do with Kelly’s music library and what criteria they might consider for removing the entirety of an artist’s work.


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