In short: Some songs might appear grayed out or get removed from your playlist due to licensing issues with the rights holder. Other times, there is a new version of the song.
You’ve spent months creating the ultimate playlist on Spotify, only to find some songs removed from the list. Annoying, I know. Here are a few reasons why this is happening.
You’ve reached the playlist song limit
If you’ve noticed that Spotify has been removing songs from your playlist, it could be that you’ve reached the playlist song limit, or approaching a number close to the limit.
The limit of songs you can add to a Spotify playlist is approximately 10,000. It’s possible to go slightly above this limit, but you may experience issues when you are near the limit.
Duplicate songs will not count as one song but as the number of times it has been saved.
Keep in mind that due to the technical limitations of the Spotify app, it’s possible that the app malfunctions when you approach such a high mark (around 10,000 songs).
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to increase or remove this limit at the moment.
If it’s a collaborative playlist, someone removed the song
Remember that when a Spotify playlist is collaborative, anyone who has the link to it will be able to add or remove songs, so most likely someone else removed them.
A collaborative playlist lets your friends and/or family members add, remove, and reorder tracks. You can learn more about what you can or cannot do right here.
The song has been removed by the rights holder
Your songs shouldn’t be disappearing from your own Spotify playlists, however, sometimes tracks are removed for licensing and/or rights reasons.
Keep in mind that while Spotify wants all the world’s music, the availability of tracks can vary over time and between countries, depending on the permissions from rights holders.
Once the owner wants his or her song removed, there’s nothing Spotify could do other than respect their decision. If this is the case, the song would also be removed from your playlist.
Keep in mind that Spotify is a platform where artists and creators add their tracks themselves. It’s not like Spotify picks and chooses which artist should be on the platform.
Also, if a song on a playlist is grayed out, it’s possible that licensing agreements with the artist and/or labels, or ownership of rights, have changed since you added them to your playlist.
There is a new version of the song
Sometimes the record label or owner of a song can not only remove the song from Spotify but upload a newer version of the song in place of the old version.
This way the old song will not be visible in the playlists anymore.
You can check this by searching for the songs removed from your playlist in the Spotify library. If this is the case indeed, you’ll be able to find the new versions via the Search bar.
Remember, some songs might be removed from the Spotify library due to licensing issues and they might appear grayed out or get removed completely.
There are occasions when these songs get added back to Spotify under the same title/year, but they get reuploaded as other versions of the song with new metadata and a new “Date Added”.
Songs don’t get removed from your Liked Songs if you haven’t listened to them in a long time.
Spotify constantly removes songs to maintain quality
Recently, Spotify went through and removed an estimated number of 750,000 songs. I’ve seen many people complaining about this and experienced it myself.
The reason is that said songs were using fake streams and/or bots to boost streams or had issues with outreach that made it look like they were using fake streams and bot followers.
In other words, Spotify has the right to remove songs if a streaming fraud (fake streams) has been detected or there is a copyright infringement (using other people’s beats).
In fact, Spotify has removed 7% of songs created with AI-generated music service Boomy from its website for allegedly using bots to boost its streaming numbers.
Some got put back up because they weren’t using false boosts, and some songs got restored by labels, but a lot of these songs have been removed entirely from the Spotify platform.
This obviously is a huge number of songs, and it may be part of the reason why some songs on your Spotify playlists have been removed. It’s just the way it is.
Spotify often removes songs and albums from its platform to maintain its quality as a music streaming service. Unfortunately, they can accidentally remove songs that are good.
While the company never explicitly explains what’s going on, you are ultimately paying for a license to stream, not own songs. So, any song could be removed at any time from your playlist.
If you remember this and remember that you are at the mercy of Spotify, you’ll have much less frustration in the future. It’s just part of the music streaming world.
Spotify deleted your playlist because it’s too popular
Okay, hear me out. It’s going to sound like one big conspiracy theory but there’s a possibility that Spotify deleted your playlist because it’s gotten popular and outperformed its own playlists.
A friend of mine has had a playlist since 2016. It’s gained a lot of traction and close to a thousand followers. Unfortunately, Spotify recently sent him the following in an email:
“We have found the following content to be in violation of our content policies, and we have removed it. Please see our Spotify Terms and Conditions of Use for more information.”– Spotify’s email response
The playlist name was called “Pop/Alternative”. It had a basic description with no offensive language and didn’t even include a custom image.
My friend spent hours and Spotify has been entirely unhelpful.
Given the circumstances, he thinks that his playlist may be another casualty of Spotify taking down user playlists similar to its own playlists in order to control the content.
However, I think there are two possible reasons for this.
One, a user or several users have reported the playlist as offensive, presumably to try to get their own higher in search results. Two, Spotify thinks the playlist competes with its own.
Either way, this is just my theory. There’s no evidence it’s true or not. Please take it with a grain of salt. As I’ve said before, we are using Spotify and we have to abide by their rules.
Ask for help from customer service
There was a time when Spotify removed a song on my playlist. I had to spend more than 30 minutes verifying the name of the song because it kept me company for a long time.
So I did what was reasonable by contacting Spotify’s customer service. A forum member told me they can help me recover a specific playlist to a specific date.
Thankfully, customer support was able to tell me what was recently removed from the playlist in question, and the song I was looking for was located.
I think Spotify should provide an option to enable version history for playlists. It’s nice to be able to see how my taste has changed or listen to the songs again in that group/order.
If you agree with this idea, you can vote right here.