Why’s your music still live after you sent a takedown?

So you’ve delivered a takedown but can still see the album on Spotify?

When you send us a takedown to remove a release from our App, you may still be able to access the shell of the release. You’ll only be able to access it with the exact URI. If this is the case, you’ll see that the tracks are grayed out and not playable. The reason we have this is for track linking purposes and to make sure playlisting across all our user and editorial playlist doesn’t become interrupted when catalogs move about.

Let me give you an example.

You deliver a single to Spotify and while the single is live, it gets put in user and editorial playlists. A few weeks later you then sent us the album, and that single is track 2 on the album. At this point, because the album has now been live for a bit, the Artist wishes to remove the single from their Artist page because the full album is now live on Spotify. Well, if we didn’t have a tracklinking process, it’d mean that all those places where the single was playlisted wouldn’t have the track any more. This process makes sure that if content is moved around, there’s no disruption in the user experience, or your streams.

So that’s the reason you may see shell releases on Spotify after takedown. Don’t worry, they aren’t searchable, or on the Artist page—but you can only find them via a direct URI. Sometimes you may find a shell release and see that some, or all, of the tracks are playable. It’s highly likely this is our track linking process. Track linking is where we surface the same recording that’s live in place of the one that isn’t live any more.

If in doubt, reach out to Content Provider Ops team via the usual channels.

Top Tip: Each version of a track on Spotify has a unique URI. Check which version you’re looking at by comparing URIs.

To get the URI:

  1. Open the desktop app,
  2. View the track or release by searching with the title, or find it directly on the Artist page.
  3. Right-click and select Share.
  4. Click Copy Spotify Link.

If the product, however, is still live, then it could be something else beyond the above track linking process.

So make sure you check the Batch ID of the takedown in the Deliveries section of Spotify for Music Providers to make sure it didn’t fail delivery on route to us. If it did fail for any reason, you’ll be able to find out why in the Deliveries section and if you fix that and send us a new takedown that should work.

If the takedown delivery has been successful, then remember we need at least 2 business days to process all updates and takedowns.