Taking on radio to become the future of audio comes with plenty of pitfalls, as Spotify is finding out. It has just removed nearly 150 hours of podcasts from its service, after an investigation by Sky News in the UK found antisemitism, racism and white supremacy content in the shows.
“The company said it does not allow hate content on its platform. But we found podcasts totalling several days’ worth of listening promoting extreme views such as scientific racism, Holocaust denial and far-right antisemitic conspiracy theories,” explained Sky. Spotify took down the shows after being notified of their content.
The news comes days after another controversy emerged around another form of spoken-word content on Spotify: comedy recordings. It has removed a bunch of those, too, in a row over whether Spotify has licensed the underlying literary works as well as the recordings (in essence: comedy’s equivalent of the composition).
The streaming service is under pressure to license the literary works from two agencies in the US: Spoken Giantsand Word Collections – the latter founded by a familiar figure in the history of Spotify licensing controversies: TuneCore and Audiam founder Jeff Price.