Why Spotify and Apple Music haven’t pulled Kanye West’s songs from its playlists
Kanye has had a bit of a PR nightmare since Apple Music removed “New Slaves” from its playlists and Spotify scrubbed the rapper’s “Bound 2” from its “Spotify Playlist” a few months back. The issue is more serious than either Spotify’s or Apple’s, because both labels are now refusing to remove West’s music and albums from their playlists.
Here’s why: Spotify and Apple Music playlists are a great way to get your own music on the radio, but they’re also a means to promote music you enjoy. The problem for West is that he doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to promoting his music. While he’s never released a bad album—he had multiple number ones on Spotify and Apple Music—the most popular albums of his career have been the worst. West has dropped albums with terrible singles, terrible album art and terrible, offensive lyrics. And his latest album Ye vs. The People, an album of songs he wrote and produced himself, has been met with a negative feedback rating of 86% by Pitchfork.
But while he’s had issues promoting his music, he also has had an even bigger issue with the streaming music industry. In 2012, an old adage became true: if you’re an artist, the market is always right. With his music being a means to promote his career, West is now in a potentially even more difficult situation to try and get his music on the radio.
Just recently, Kanye West performed at the Prudential Center in Newark, and on the way to the performance, he gave a short interview with MTV News. As he left the stage to take his performance, he was asked if he thought his musical career is over.
“No,” he said. “I hope I am. I feel like I’ve been doing my thing over the past 15 years. If anything, I got better with it.”
West has an idea of what his music is worth. Just last week, he told radio station WKXW,