Spotify yields, puts advisories on COVID podcasts, Rogan responds to uproar sparked by his episodes

The podcast host says he's "happy" with Spotify's solution

Published: January 31, 2022 7:28am

Updated: January 31, 2022 8:31am

Spotify is adding content advisories to podcasts that discuss COVID-19, amid the growing backlash from top musicians and others over such episodes by podcaster Joe Rogan that threatened the future of the popular music and audio streaming platform. 

The Spotify revolt was started last week by legendary folk-rocker Neil Young and was followed by such stars as Bruce Springsteen and Joni Mitchell, all of whom threatened to remove their music from the stream service, in which subscribers pay a month fee to download song, podcast and other audio content. 

"It is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them," Spotify CEO Daniel Ek wrote Sunday in a social media post. 

He also said there are "plenty of individuals and views on Spotify that I disagree with strongly."

In 2020, Spotify purchased the exclusive rights to Rogan's podcast in a deal reportedly worth over $100 million. 

Rogan, whom critics have accuses of promoting COVID misinformation on his podcasts, said Sunday that he consistently seeks out individuals to come on his show who have "differing opinions" but that he's "very happy" with Spotify's decision.

"I’m not trying to promote misinformation," he said in an Instagram video post. "I’m not trying to be controversial. I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than to just talk to people."

Rogan argued he's discussed the virus with CNN's chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta; Dr. Michael Osterholm, a member of President Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board; and Dr. Peter Hotez of the Baylor College of Medicine.

In addition to the musicians vowing to remove their music, members of scientific medical and academic communities have asking that Spotify remove an episode of Rogan's podcast in which he discusses the virus with mRNA pioneer Dr. Robert Malone.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook


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