MINNESOTA – R. Kelly’s fall from grace accelerated after he was convicted of extortion, child sexual exploitation and kidnapping, but his streams and sales haven’t plummeted at all.
In fact, in the week following his guilty verdict, Kelly’s music saw double-digit growth in streams and triple-digit growth in revenue.
From September 27 to October 3, Kelly’s on-demand audio streams were up 22%, while video streams were up 23% from the previous seven days.
Overall, its streams fell from 11.2 million to 13.4 million. His album sales increased by 517%.
For the past four years, streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify have “cut off” R. Kelly’s music by not including his songs in curated playlists.
And many artists have chosen to remove their R. Kelly collaborations from streaming, such as Chance the Rapper, who removed “Somewhere in Paradise” in January 2019.
Also this week, Jennifer Hudson’s “Where You At,” written and produced by R. Kelly, appears to be wrapping up in streaming.
But for the most part, Kelly’s music is still available for those who want to stream it, and her streams haven’t dropped at all in the past four years.
In 2017, R. Kelly averaged around 5.4 million on-demand audio streams per week, and this year it averaged around 6.4 million.
The only platform where his music could be cleaned was YouTube, which announced this week that it had shut down two of R. Kelly’s official YouTube accounts that contained his official music videos (although unofficial videos remain on the platform and that his music will continue to be available on YouTube Music). .
While video streams were high in the week following the decision, there is likely to be a steep drop in the coming days.
It is not uncommon for an artist to experience an explosion of activity immediately after a controversy. Morgan Wallen, for example, saw his sales skyrocket by 1,220% after a video of him using a racial slur emerged.