Has Spotify’s response to the Joe Rogan row this weekend quenched the controversy? We haven’t seen any of the platform’s biggest music stars follow Neil Young’s lead and remove their music, but Young’s former bandmate Graham Nash has done so, as has artist India Arie.
“Neil Young opened a door that I MUST walk through,” wrote Arie on Instagram. “I believe in freedom of speech. However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons OTHER than his Covid interviews… FOR ME ITS ALSO HIS language around race. What I am talking about is RESPECT – who gets it and who doesn’t. paying musicians a Fraction of a penny? and HIM $100m? This shows the type of company they are and the company that they keep. I’m tired.”
Meanwhile, the hosts and producers of popular podcast ‘Science Vs’ – produced by Spotify’s own Gimlet studio – have published an open letter to CEO Daniel Ek expressing their concerns, promising that “until Spotify implements stronger methods to prevent the spread of misinformation on the platform, we will no longer be making new Science Vs episodes, except those intended to counteract misinformation being spread on Spotify.”
Completing today’s trio of bracing words for Spotify is an article from one of its longstanding critics, journalist Liz Pelly. ‘Podcast Overlords‘ goes some way beyond Joe Rogan though. “What does it mean for a company that’s become known for streambait background experiences and prioritizing unchallenging, agreeable sounds to apply that ideology as a deliverer of the news, conversation, commentary, and ideas?” wrote Pelly in the piece.
It was published in November 2020, but is being shared again now in response to this month’s developments.