In early January, US TV Network, Lifetime, released a six-part documentary detailing sexual abuse allegations against R. Kelly. It aired over three nights, from January 3 to January 5, 2019. It was Lifetime’s highest-rated program in more than two years, with 1.9 million total viewers + many more watching it online around the world.
Following this release, additional abuse claims have come to the forefront, media coverage has escalated and fans have taken to social media with campaigns like #BlockRKelly and #UnfollowRKelly.
As a result, the artist has experienced subsequent disciplinary actions from business partners and platforms. His long-lasting label partner in RCA/Sony has released him from his contract. His songs have been removed from Spotify playlists, including adding a whole new “mute” feature as a test for individual users to choose to never see artist content in their algorithmic playlists as well. Several other organizations and media have put in an effort to run R. Kelly off the internet.
WARM (World Airplay Radio Monitor) has taken a close look at his radio airplay stats to see how the accusations are affecting his radio playlists, and it has taken a drop, but not at the level of total expulsion like other players.
Data from WARM
We compiled airplay data from six of his most popular songs and compared two weeks of total worldwide radio plays. The first week of monitoring took place in late December 2018, and these numbers were compared to last weeks total airplay. The global amount of airplays dropped from 3264 to 2398 weekly spins, which is 27% less radio airplay activity.
The compiled World Airplay Radio Monitor data is based on these six tracks:
1. I Believe I Can Fly
2. If I Could Turn Back The Hands of Time
4. The World’s Greatest
5. She’s Got That Vibe
6. Step In The Name Of Love
He might not believe he can fly as the world’s greatest any longer… we’ll monitor the worldwide airplay trends as they evolve.