Spotify Head Addresses His Joe Rogan Issue


Podcast Business Journal

Who knew signing the most successful podcaster in the world would become such a headache? In addition to reporting quarterly earnings on Wednesday that includes a weaker Q1 2022 forecast and the revelation that it will no longer offer annual guidance, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek had to field questions about the growing discontent from content creators over the Rogan show.

Ek told investors he’s trying “trying to balance creative expression with the safety of our users. Of course, this is a very complicated issue. But I’m really proud of the steps that we took following the concerns raised by the medical and scientific communities.”

A handful of artists pulled their music from Spotify after objecting to guests Rogan has had on that are not lock-step in line with the COVID-19 vaccine. They believe Rogan is spreading misinformation about the vaccine.

Ek said the company does not “change our policies based on one creator nor do we change it based on any media cycle or calls from anyone else. While Joe has a massive audience… he also has to abide by those policies.

Rogan has apologized for causing this headache for Spotify and said he will strive for more balance.

Spotify’s stock dropped by nearly 17% to $159.70 on Thursday, but was up slightly in immediate after-hours trading.

As RBR+TVBR first reported Wednesday, Spotify in Q4 2021 had 406 million monthly active users, up 18% from a year earlier. Paying subscribers rose 16% to 180 million.
Revenue from subscriptions jumped 22% to $2.6 billion. Advertising revenue increased 40%. Advertising revenue has jumped from 10% of Spotify’s overall revenue to 15%.

Spotify now has 3.6 million podcasts available on its service, up from 3.2 million in the previous quarter.