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​Spotify CEO Defends Company’s Joe Rogan Stance As Backlash Continues

Vivienne Kelly

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​Spotify CEO Defends Company’s Joe Rogan Stance As Backlash Continues

Spotify has claimed it shouldn't change its policies based on the actions of 'one creator' or because of public and media pressure.

The doubling down comes as the streaming giant grapples with 'the Joe Rogan Situation', which has seen various artists and podcasters remove their content, while paying subscribers have cancelled their accounts in protest.

Rogan is often touted as the world's biggest podcaster, and Spotify reportedly paid US$100 million (AU$140 million) for the exclusive rights to The Joe Rogan Experience in 2020.

The podcast, and Rogan himself, have attracted controversy throughout the pandemic, with many criticising him for encouraging the spread of misinformation and vaccine hesitancy.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Last month, a collective of health care professionals called on Spotify to develop a policy to help counteract this misinformation.

One epidemiologist called Rogan a 'menace to public health', while other content creators, including musician Neil Young and podcaster Roxanne Gay, removed their content from the platform.

Spotify has subsequently released its Platform Rules - a policy which it said was in place already - and outlined its 'approach' to COVID-19.

CEO Daniel Ek said the organisation would now be more transparent with its policies and would add a 'content advisory' to any podcast episode which included a discussion about Covid-19.

The content advisory will direct people to Spotify's COVID-19 Hub, which has 'data-driven facts' and up-to-date information.

While some observers and commentators felt the Platform Rules did not go far enough when it comes to Covid-19 misinformation, CEO Ek said on an earnings call with investors that the company doesn't 'change our policies based on one creator'.

"Our policies have been carefully written with the input from numbers of internal and external experts in the space," he said. "And I do believe they're right for our platform.

"And while Joe has a massive audience - he is actually the number one podcast in more than 90 markets - he also has to abide by these policies."

Spotify's recent financial results revealed the platform has 406 million monthly active users, 180 million of whom are premium paying subscribers.

The company made €2.69 billion (AU$4.31 billion) in revenue in the final three months of 2021, an increase of 24 per ent from the same period in 2020.

Its share price, however, has been quite volatile. In February last year, it was trading at over US$360 (AU$504).

This week it has been down below US$160 (AU$224).

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, joe rogan, Spotify

Vivienne Kelly
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