Spotify reported Its Q4 2021 earnings todayand although the numbers show strong growth compared to last year, the issue people are generally concerned with is Joe Rogan. CEO Daniel Ek began his preparatory remarks by extensively referring to the company’s “remarkable few days”. Ek explained that Spotify is working to combat misinformation and that there is still work to be done. “The past few weeks have brought a number of learning opportunities,” he said. During the Q&A of the earnings call, he was asked directly about Joe Rogan’s Experience.
“We’re trying to balance creative expression with user safety,” Ek said. He continued by saying that the company doesn’t bend its content rules to accommodate individual creators. “While Joe has a large audience, he also has to adhere to those policies.”
Previously, Spotify said it reviewed all the episodes of JRE and none of them met the criteria for removal, despite some discussion of controversial topics – most notably COVID-19 vaccines and treatments. As of this weekend, those policies have yet to be posted publicly due to the company providing details while announcing it will add “content advice” to any podcast episode that discusses COVID-19. When Neil was young pull his music from the service last week, Spotify said it has pulled “more than 20,000 episodes of COVID-19-related podcasts since the start of the pandemic.”
Ek acknowledges that Spotify was late in publishing its content policy and is fully responsible for not doing so sooner. “We should have done it earlier and it was on me,” he explains. He also said he doesn’t expect any “disruption” or loss of customers due to the current state of podcasts. He’s obviously too early to tell, but past “controversies” often took place over “months not days”.
Rogan has give an apology, pledging to give more opinions on future episodes. “I will do my best to balance these more controversial views with the views of others so that we can find a better one,” he said.
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