On Friday, May 11, soon after the Swedish streaming service announced it was banning the endorsement of certain artists — namely R. Kelly and XXXTentacion — from its playlists under a new policy against “hate content” and “hateful conduct,” multiple sources told Variety that Carter is leaving the the company. His exit, it was unilaterally implied, was believed to be prompted by the firestorm that emerged.
A Spotify representative has denied that Carter is leaving and more than one Spotify source has said that Carter reported to work on Monday morning, May 14. Still, rumors persist, and are being amplified by stories like the one Hits reported today, claiming that it was “Carter’s decision to resign” after pushing back against the notion of “determining ‘values.'”
In fact, within hours of the company’s May 10 announcement, emergency huddles were taking place at Spotify’s main offices in Stockholm, New York and Los Angeles, according to insiders. Carter, who has led the charge on the streaming giant’s relationship with the music industry, including creators and executives, was said to be the one who called the “urgent team meeting” to discuss the backlash over the new policy.
It is unclear which Spotify executive led the charge on the “hate” policy, though insiders suggest it came from the very top and that the company’s head of public policy Jonathan Prince was behind the push. “This is where tech and music just don’t get each other,” says one such source.
Carter joined Spotify in June 2016, leaving behind a management company that represented Meghan Trainor and Charlie Puth, among others.