Has Spotify began to forgive Morgan Wallen?
That’s an fascinating query following the streaming platform’s choice to reinstate the artist this week into one in every of its largest nation playlists, Country Coffeehouse. The Spotify playlist, which is adopted by practically 600,000 folks, initially eliminated Wallen from its assortment of roughly 75 songs earlier this month.
After video of Wallen uttering the n-word began disseminating on February 2nd, Spotify took fast motion to clean the artist from its coveted, curated playlists (nation or in any other case). That included Nation Coffeehouse, in addition to Spotify’s marquee nation playlist, Sizzling Nation, which boasts greater than 6 million followers.
Now, Spotify could also be slowly reintegrating Wallen again into its playlist stack. Wallen’s recently-released observe, “Someone’s Downside,” was first noticed by Digital Music Information this week after the artist’s playlist ban. It’s unclear which day Wallen first reappeared, and Spotify hasn’t made any public statements for the reason that controversy first surrounded the artist.
However this isn’t the primary indication that Spotify is reintegrating Morgan Wallen into its playlists.
Simply days after the controversy, Spotify launched an unique ‘enhanced’ model of Wallen’s recently-released album, Harmful: The Double Album. That deep-dive, launched only one week after Wallen was ‘suspended indefinitely’ by his label, Huge Loud/Republic, options particular outtakes and commentary from the artist. Inside three days, the improved album had garnered practically 200,000 followers, whereas the album itself has simply entered its sixth week atop quite a few album rankings in america.
Certainly, Wallen is now surging on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, and the bodily world, regardless of full-scale bans on streaming music playlists, broadcast radio, SiriusXM, and Pandora. Over the weekend, information revealed that Wallen is presently the best-selling artist of 2021, and the most well-liked artist on Spotify (two of Wallen’s songs are actually in Spotify’s high 50, with each gaining steam). Wallen has additionally offered essentially the most albums this 12 months, outpacing heavy-hitting pop stars like Ariana Grande.
That might be placing severe stress on Spotify, particularly given the high-stakes battle for streaming music subscribers. It’s unclear if the streaming platform is going through complaints from Wallen followers, although a number of radio stations have reported heated confrontations with irate listeners. However radio’s blanket ban is having little affect on Wallen’s success, regardless of its historic means to make-or-break an artist’s profession.
So what occurs subsequent?
At this level, Spotify is preserving its playing cards near the vest. However all eyes are actually centered on Sizzling Nation and its 6.2 million followers. Maybe Nation Coffeehouse was a approach for Spotify to check the waters — and any potential backlash — earlier than reintegrating the nation star again into its different coveted playlists.