Today it was announced that both iTunes and Spotify will be pulling all Insane Clown Posse songs from their digital media libraries. Fans of the Insane Clown Posse can expect to see all traces of the hip hop duo removed from iTunes and Spotify by mid-January 2015. The details behind the decision were relatively unclear; however a spokesperson from each entity has confirmed that they have been receiving large amounts of pressure from advertisers and sponsors to remove Insane Clown Posse music from their library.
iTunes spokesperson Gerald Hutchinson told reporters, “The decision to remove them (Insane Clown Posse) from our digital library was not an easy one, however at the end of the day we are a business and have to make decisions that are conducive to our earnings and growth.” According to Hutchinson, iTunes has received an abundance of threats to terminate or decline renewal of advertising contracts from several advertisers and sponsors.
Hutchinson declined to comment as to which sponsors and advertisers were threatening to terminate their affiliation with iTunes, however he did make the following statement, “The requests to eliminate Insane Clown Posse’s music from our library have been growing in size each month, it was clear that the issue was not going to disappear.” According to Hutchinson iTunes began to receive threats from the unnamed advertisers and sponsors in July 2014 after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit requiring the FBI to discontinue the classification of Insane Clown Posse’s fan base as a gang.
It is clear to experts and speculators alike that advertisers were not comfortable with having affiliation with a company that provides its customers with music that speaks to gang members and criminal activity. Devin Larson, a social commentator for the Toolson Herald told fans of the publication, “It’s certainly an interesting scenario, on one hand Insane Clown Posse and their fans are protected by the freedom of speech, on the other hand iTunes and Spotify are entitled to make decisions that best serve their business and profits, advertisers and sponsors are a huge part of those profits.”
Spotify spokesperson Kimberly Terrence told reporters, “As a company that does not charge our customers to access music, advertisers are crucial to our business model. As much as it pains us to upset any demographic of our current customers, we simply could not survive without the support of our advertisers and sponsors. “
Though Insane Clown Posse founders Violent J (Joseph Bruce ) and Shaggy 2 Dope (Joseph Utsler) have not yet publically addressed the decision made by iTunes and Spotify, their seemingly loyal fans, referred to as Juggalos, have been very outspoken regarding their dissatisfaction with the decision. One Insane Clown Posse fan who refers to himself has Loco Chain made the following statement via twitter, “No more iTunes or Spotify, only Pandora 4 me…Why are they not removing GANGSTER rap like Easy E?”