This afternoon, something completely horrible happened to me. Spotify auto-played a Meghan Trainor song in one of their recommendations.
First, I was shocked, then slightly insulted. I wasn’t sure how my customized Spotify playlist I created triggered some signal that told them I was interested in hearing that basic, talent-less pop star. In hindsight and after some thought, I guess Meghan Trainor isn’t much of a stretch. I do have top-40, pop sensibilities. Ok, it’s kinda my fault, but how can I make sure this doesn’t happen ever again?
Does Spotify Offer a Block Artist Feature?
I’m still shaking from that experience. I was completely blindsided. Not to mention that at the time it happened, the always-terrible song threw me off my productivity train. Luckily, I gathered myself, stopped what I was going, fumbled around before opening up Spotify, and clicked on skip as quickly as humanly possible.
With anything traumatic, I didn’t want it happening ever again, so I wondered aloud whether I could block a specific artist or band from ever popping up randomly on my Spotify playlist again. Unfortunately, despite several years of recommending this feature, Spotify hasn’t (and probably won’t ever) introduce this feature. Spotify’s official responses have been a simple Unfortunately, not and this more detail answer from late 2017:
After serious consideration, we’ve decided not to offer blocking/ hiding/ or blacklisting artists or tracks on Spotify at this time. Rest assured we’re working hard to improve suggested content. Keep an eye on the idea “Add like or dislike button to personal discover weekly playlist” for more details around this.
If you can’t block songs, specific artists, or bands, what can be done? Outside of paying up and becoming a premium member, there’s nothing else that guarantees you’ll never ever hear Meghan Trainor, Insane Clown Posses, Chris Brown, and Miley Cyrus again.
How to (Kinda) Block Artists and Songs on Spotify
Even though Spotify doesn’t yet offer an official blocking feature, there are a few ways you can influence their algorithm to exclude Ted Nugent, Eagles of Death Metal, Wayne Newton, Gene Simmons, Kid Rock and any douchebag you won’t want showing up. Here’a a few ways that you can get around hearing a specific artist.
- Skip It: Unless you’re a premium member, you get a limited number of skips to use, so use those skips wisely. You never know when a Meghan Trainor song is hiding around the corner.
- Become a Premium Member: I believe if you pay for the Premium Spotify membership, you get the privilege to not just create your own playlists, but these playlists won’t have Spotify suggestions pop up randomly.
- Re-actively Thumbs Down: If Spotify’s suggestions and music recommendations are based on a user’s behavior, anything one does on the platform is used to give you the best experience from their activity. So before skipping it, make sure you click the thumbs down on the offending song before moving on. This will tell Spotify that you don’t like it. After thumbing down a few more random appearances of Meghan Trainor, we’re confident that Spotify will never bring her up again.
- Proactively Thumbs Down: Make use of Spotify’s thumbs down like a bat out of hell. Take a few minutes out of your day to tell Spotify’s algorithm that you. don’t. ever. want. to. hear. Meghan. Trainor. again. Go to the artist, band or song you despise and thumbs down everything. Go to town. For an artist of band, go to each one of their popular songs and thumbs down. If you really hate them, go to every song and thumbs it down.
- Playlist Cloning/Curation: If a specific artist or band you don’t like shows up on a pre-created playlist like Discover Weekly, Rap Caviar or Top 50 US Hits, you have options. You can’t edit Spotify’s playlist, but you can if you duplicare it. After cloning the playlist, simply thumbs down the song/artist then completely remove them from it.
- Related Artists: This tactic is the “innocent bystander” move. It’s a drastic one, but if you don’t want to pay for premium and want to quality-proof your future, you can leverage Spotify’s Related Artists.
This works because one of the reasons why an artist or band showed up on your playlist is because you’ve probably shown some interest in artists related to the hated-song. What you can do is go to the artist in question, scroll over to the “Related Artists” section and begin proactively thumbs-downing these artists. If you show a dislike for the specific artist and any artist or band that Spotify thinks is closely related, this will help tell Spotify to leave off Meghan Trainor. The downside in this extreme move is that to completely rid yourself of Meghan Trainor, you’ll have to forgo music from Fifth Harmony, Ariana Grande and Nick Jonas, too. Worth it? For me, it is.
My lips are moving and I’m telling Meghan Trainor “no” full stop. No excuses, like I’m gonna lose you completely on Spotify. Anyways, if you’re like me and not yet into paying $9.95 to have complete control of your listening experience, it’ll take some time to curate and personalize your music on Spotify so that your least-wanted list doesn’t appear. Good luck and let us know if any of these methods have worked for you by commenting below.