Spotify boss says it’s “too early to tell” how controversy over Joe Rogan’s podcast, which averages 11 million listeners per episode, has affected the company.
Musicians including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have called for their music to be removed from the platform following criticism that the US broadcaster helped spread misinformation about Covid. It comes as Spotify projected slower subscriber growth for this quarter.
Shares of the streaming company fell more than 10% in after-hours trading. Usually when we’ve had controversies in the past, they’re measured in months, not days,” Spotify Chief Executive Daniel Ek told investors. We don’t change our policies based on one creator, nor do we change based on any media cycle or calls from anyone else,” he added.
The company said revenue for the final three months of 2021 rose to 2.69 billion euros (2.2 billion pounds; $3 billion), easily beating market expectations. However, the company missed analyst predictions, forecasting it would have 183 million paying subscribers this quarter.
Spotify added that the outlook was “subject to substantial uncertainty” due to the pandemic. Joe Rogan Podcast Four Statement Verification Joe Rogan vows to try harder after Spotify queue
This week, Spotify said it was working to add warnings to any podcast that talks about Covid-19.
The company also released rules that give it the power to remove or suspend users and podcasts that promote dangerous falsehoods. These are similar to those adopted by the social media platforms Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Mr. Ek said the ad will direct listeners to a resource center with facts, expert information and “links to trusted sources. This new effort to combat disinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days,” he said. To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind from a major podcast platform.”
Rogan also vowed to do more to offer more balanced viewpoints on his podcast. In a nearly 10-minute long Instagram video posted Monday, he said he would “try harder to bring people with different opinions” to his show.