What Does The E Mean In Spotify? (Detailed Guide)

Ever been jamming out to your favorite playlist on Spotify, only to be interrupted by that little "E" symbol next to a song? If you're like me, you've probably wondered, what does the E mean in Spotify?

In this guide, we'll dive deep into the world of explicit content on Spotify, exploring what it means, why it matters (especially for your brand), and how to control it. 

Whether you're using Spotify for personal enjoyment, background music at your business, or even in your marketing campaigns, understanding this little symbol can make a big difference.

What does the “E” mean in Spotify and for its users?

Let's break down what this little "E" means and why it matters for your business.

Think of the "E" as Spotify's way of saying, "Heads up, this content might not be for everyone." It's a simple visual cue that indicates a song, album, or playlist contains explicit lyrics, themes, or language. 

While it might seem trivial, this little symbol plays a significant role in managing user expectations and protecting younger listeners.Explicit content covers a wide range of material, from strong language and violence to sexual themes and drug references. 

How to manage explicit content settings in Spotify

Taking control of your Spotify experience isn't just about personal preference; it's about protecting your brand and those who interact with it. Whether you're playing music in your storefront or sharing playlists with clients, managing explicit content is a smart business move.

Thankfully, Spotify makes it a breeze to tailor your settings to your needs. You have several options at your disposal, from simple toggles to more granular controls. 

This empowers you to create a listening environment that aligns with your brand values and caters to your specific audience.

Filter explicit content on specific devices

One of the most convenient ways to manage explicit content is by filtering it on individual devices. 

A screenshot of a Spotify playlist marked with explicit content

This means you can have one set of rules for your personal phone, another for your work computer, and yet another for the speakers in your store. It's all about flexibility and giving you control over where and when explicit content is allowed.

Block explicit content entirely

If you want a blanket ban on explicit content, Spotify has you covered. You can easily toggle a setting to block all explicit songs, albums, and playlists across all your devices. This is a great option for families with young children or businesses that want to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere.

Create a separate Spotify Kids account

Spotify Kids features a curated selection of age-appropriate music and stories. You can create individual profiles for each child, giving them a personalized and safe listening experience.

What if you’re a bit late and your kids saw the “E” and askED, “What does The E mean in Spotify?” The FAQ section below might help. 

Frequently asked questions about Spotify's "E"

Throughout this guide, I'll answer common questions like, "Can I filter out explicit content on Spotify?" and "Does the 'E' apply to podcasts?" By the end, you'll have a clear understanding of how to navigate Spotify's explicit content landscape with confidence.

Why does Spotify use the "E" symbol?

Now that we've covered the basics, let's dive deeper into why Spotify uses the "E" symbol in the first place.

The music industry has a long history of labeling explicit content, dating back to the Parental Advisory stickers of the 1980s. 

Spotify's "E" is essentially a digital version of this label, providing a consistent way to identify potentially sensitive material across different genres and formats.

What types of content are considered explicit?

Spotify casts a wide net when it comes to classifying content as explicit. It's not just about the F-bomb; there's a whole spectrum of potentially sensitive material that can earn a song, podcast, or album that little "E" label.

A man shouting, which can represent strong language on Spotify

Here's a breakdown of the main categories:

Strong language

This includes swear words, racial slurs, and other offensive terms. The severity can range from mild expletives to highly explicit language.


Depictions of physical harm, graphic descriptions of violence, or even threats of violence can all be considered explicit.

Sexual themes

Songs or podcasts with overtly sexual lyrics, discussions of sexual acts, or references to sexual assault fall into this category.

Drug references

Mentions of illegal substances, descriptions of drug use, or even glorification of drug culture can trigger the explicit label.

Hate speech

Any content that promotes discrimination, violence, or prejudice against a particular group based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or other factors is considered explicit.

It's important to note that Spotify's definition of explicit content isn't always black and white. What might be considered offensive in one culture might be perfectly acceptable in another. 

Additionally, individual listeners have varying sensitivities to certain types of content. That's why it's crucial to have the tools to control what you and your audience are exposed to.

Is all music with an "E" explicit?

Not necessarily. The "E" doesn't automatically mean a song is filled with offensive content. 

Sometimes, a single swear word or suggestive phrase can trigger the label. It's always a good idea to preview songs or check lyrics before adding them to your playlists, especially if you're sensitive to certain types of content.

Can I filter out explicit content on Spotify?

Absolutely! Spotify gives you several options to control explicit content. You can adjust settings on individual devices, filter playlists, or even create a separate account with restricted access. We'll cover each method in detail later on.

You have the flexibility to filter or block explicit content entirely, ensuring that you only hear the music and podcasts that align with your values and comfort level.

A song on Spotify marked with explicit content

Here’s what you can do:

Device-level settings: 

You can customize explicit content settings on each device you use Spotify on. This means you can have different rules for your phone, computer, and even your car's audio system. 

For instance, you might allow explicit content on your personal devices but block it on shared devices used by children or employees.

Playlist filtering: 

Spotify allows you to filter out explicit songs from any playlist. This is handy if you're creating a playlist for a specific occasion or audience. 

You can easily remove explicit tracks with a few clicks, ensuring that everyone can enjoy the music without encountering anything offensive.

Separate account with restricted access: 

If you want complete control over explicit content, you can create a separate Spotify account specifically for younger listeners or environments where explicit material isn't appropriate. This account can be set up with restricted access, blocking all explicit content by default.

But how can you exactly filter out content?

Filtering explicit content on Spotify isn't rocket science. Here's a breakdown of the steps for different devices:

On your computer or web browser:

  1. 1
    Click on the downward arrow next to your profile picture in the top-right corner.
  2. 2
    Select "Settings."
  3. 3
    Scroll down to the "Explicit Content" section.
  4. 4
    Toggle the "Allow Explicit Content" switch off.

On your mobile device:

  1. 1
    In the “Home” tab, click on the gearicon found in the top-right corner.
  2. 2
    Tap "Content Preferences."
  3. 3
    Toggle the "Allow Explicit Content" switch off.

Wrapping up

We've demystified the "E" in Spotify and given you the tools to take control of your listening experience. Remember, what does the E mean in Spotify

It's your cue to make informed choices about the content you consume and share with your audience.

A screenshot of a Spotify playlist that filtered explicit content

Whether you're crafting the perfect playlist for your store, managing a family account, or simply looking to avoid unexpected surprises in your own listening habits, understanding and managing explicit content is key. It's a small symbol with big implications, and now you're equipped to handle it like a pro.

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