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Spotify CEO: Rogan is the #1 Podcast in the World, Platform Must Have ‘Diverse Voices

Spotify CEO: Rogan is the #1 Podcast in the World, Platform Must Have ‘Diverse Voices

“If we only wanted to make content that we all like and agree with, we will need to eliminate religion, and politics, and comedy, and health, and environment, and education.”

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told his employees that keeping Joe Rogan is a business decision, but also a place for free speech:

“I know some of you feel disappointed, or angry, or even hurt, by some of this content and the fact that it remains on our platform,” Ek told staffers in an impassioned 15-minute speech at a town hall Wednesday, according to audio obtained by The Verge.

“There are many things that Joe Rogan says that I strongly disagree with and find very offensive,” Ek conceded, calling the fallout “incredibly complicated” and a learning moment.

But 54-year-old UFC commentator Rogan is “the number one podcaster in the world by a wide margin,” Ek stressed, noting he was leading 93 markets.

Boomers Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulled their music from the streaming platform because of Rogan’s podcast and his views on COVID-19.

A few others left, too. But no one compares to Rogan.

Ek reminded the employees that they must have deals with content that is “a hard pill for many to swallow” if they want to achieve their goal: “50 million creators and a billion users.”

Therefore, the employees must tolerate free speech. The horror, right!?

Spotify has rules and guidelines, “but there will be opinions, ideas, and beliefs that we disagree with strongly and even makes us angry or sad.”

Independence and diversity are important for Spotify:

He said it was “really critical that creators are able to use their voice independently” and that Spotify has “diverse voices.”

“We’re not in the business of dictating the discourse that these creators want to have on their shows,” he said.

While the Rogan row surrounds accusations of misinformation over COVID-19, there are numerous other divisive topics that would also spark calls for censorship, he warned.

“If we only wanted to make content that we all like and agree with, we will need to eliminate religion, and politics, and comedy, and health, and environment, and education,” Ek said, adding that “the list goes on and on and on.”

“Spotify is for allowing conversation and sparking thought,” he said of the platform that currently has 11 million creators and 3.6 million podcasts.

Good for Ek. I hope he doesn’t end up caving. I also like that he admitted it was a business decision. No shame want your company to stay in business and thrive.

Neil Young and Joni Mitchell suck anyway.


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2smartforlibs | February 4, 2022 at 3:05 pm

Don’t need to be diverse when you ask questions like any of these people should be doing.

    Except spotify has pulled 113 podcasts of Rogan’s. They’re trying to be the King of Pansies while pretending to be interested in diverse opinions. Liars like biden*.

      The real pressure is coming from Blackrock, Bezos and other Masters of the Universe who can crush Spotify if they wanted to. The SEC isn’t enforcing any predatory activity laws right anymore and Blackrock owns a lot of shares of Spotify.

      Apparently it’s not clear who did the deleting. It certainly looks like Spotify but curiously, they didn’t delete the Malone and McCullough interviews. Also, most of them go back years. Very odd. Tim Poole was speculating that maybe some rogue Spotify employees just did it on their own. Happens at Facebook all the time. That could suggest that Spotify management is losing control.

      No one seems to know what is in Rogan’s contract but it would seem to me that if Spotify is violating the terms and Rogan doesn’t sue them to nullify the contract and demand his $100m, there is something dark going on involving the US and UK governments and some other big corporate players (Blackrock and Bezos for two). Maybe Rogan is being threatened with…. ??????

Colonel Travis | February 4, 2022 at 3:15 pm

How much of a useless human being do you have to be to be so offended by contrary opinions that you cannot even function?

    stevewhitemd in reply to Colonel Travis. | February 4, 2022 at 4:19 pm

    It’s important to recognize that these objectors are not offended.

    Repeat: they are NOT offended.

    They PRETEND to be offended. Why? Because that’s where the power is. These objectors are not offended, they just want the power to ban people who think, speak or write differently. They’re using the gimmick, the tools, the means available.

    Remember, the hard core left believes “by any means necessary”. If it means pretending to be offended for now, that’s what they’ll do. When they finally can drop the mask and rule with a naked fist, that’s just what they’ll do.

      daniel_ream in reply to stevewhitemd. | February 4, 2022 at 5:23 pm

      Andrew Klavan called this eight years ago:

      divemedic in reply to stevewhitemd. | February 4, 2022 at 7:41 pm

      This began years ago, when young women realized that they could destroy any man they wished, merely by alleging sexual harassment. I came to realize this one day when I saw a young woman at one job who had filed several harassment complaints, but would also run over and plop into the lap of other male employees, as long as those men were attractive.
      It’s about power, and alleging that you are offended grants certain people with immense power.

      Colonel Travis in reply to stevewhitemd. | February 4, 2022 at 7:44 pm

      I know for a fact that people with power want to keep their power. I’ve worked for a member of Congress. I’ve seen this up close and personal.

      But leftists don’t argue with reason. They argue with emotion. Neil Young is a dunce. Have you ever heard the man talk? He has the intellectual and emotional IQ of a toddler. I think there is merit to what you are saying, but to say people like him (and plenty of non-famous people who have no power whatsoever) never get offended I don’t think is correct. These temper tantrums aren’t fake. It’s the only way they know how to communicate disagreement.

    donewiththis in reply to Colonel Travis. | February 4, 2022 at 7:48 pm

    So much truth in one sentence. Beyond the fact that Rogan’s show is paying these bubble-wrapped commie’s salaries, what the hell did he actually say that was wrong?

      NOTHING! And that’s the point!

      Whoopi Goldberg, purported World War 2 and Holocaust scholar spreads fake history to millions on a major fake news network (ABC), and we’re indulging a discussion about getting Joe Rogan off the air????????

      But the battle isn’t over, folks: the 2 Obama dirtbags are threatening to quit. No! Not that!…

      TargaGTS in reply to donewiththis. | February 5, 2022 at 10:10 am

      Not really. While there are a lot of people who subscribe to Spotify who download Rogan’s podcast, it’s important to keep in mind LONG before they signed that deal with Rogan, they were easily the biggest streaming service and podcast hosts in the industry. They’re a massive company with $10B in revenues and almost 180M subscribers. Ulimately, Joe Rogan needs them a lot more than they need Rogan….which is why he hasn’t quit even after they deleted more than 100-episodes since he began at Spotify.

        donewiththis in reply to TargaGTS. | February 5, 2022 at 1:12 pm

        I appreciate the comment TargaGTS, I was not aware that Spotify had actually started deleting the man’s content. Thank you for the update.

        Interesting times we live in.

    We know no one is “offended” – this is pure Maoism, and the ‘complainers’ are the red guard. And the enablers are the likes of Jeff Bezos, Soros etc who are giving billions to these Maoists.

    May Bezo sink along with his new ship while Soros is also onboard.

Do these people not know they are not obligated to watch podcasts they don’t like?

Now let’s talk about people like Whoopie who can’t get the hang of using a mirror. There is no “on/off” switch. The image you see is YOU! A little grease paint and size 30 shoes and VOILA! The clown outfit is complete!

goddessoftheclassroom | February 4, 2022 at 3:53 pm

I greatly dislike vulgar language. I just don’t listen to content that features things I dislike.

See how easy that is?

I wish he would tell the woke employees that there’s the door, don’t let it hit you in the back on the way out
Groveling a$$

Anyone who doesn’t like working at Spotify because of Rogan is free to quit.

And don’t let the door hit you in back on the way out.

Translation: Spotify paid a crap ton of $$$ to get Rogan and we’re gonna milk this cashcow into the next decade.

There’s even a question as to whether Neil Young actually controls his own music catalog anymore. This should be interesting.

thalesofmiletus | February 4, 2022 at 7:20 pm

You’re only temporarily safe if you’re worth $100M.

    Look at what’s happened to J. K. Rowling, one of the most successful female writers in the history of the written word. She’s worth in excess of $1B. But, because she had the ‘temerity’ to suggest that men pretending to be a women aren’t in fact actually women, she’s been canceled. If they can cancel her, they can cancel anyone.

Mary is right: this was a business decision. What I found annoying is that Ek also tried to cast himself as some sort of super-duper free speech warrior. If he really believed in what he said, he would keep Rogan even if he had only a fraction of the audience he has. And there is NO WAY he would slap a content warning on some of Rogan’s content.

I must remember The Four Crows. That is perfect. Lol

I guess he isn’t that familair with Jeremy Clarkson, who is literally too big to be cancelled.

If anyones content needs a warning, it is Fauxi.

The market speaks, an overwhelming diversity of individuals, minority of one.