Joe Rogan’s use of racial denunciations puts pressure on Spotify – NBC10 Philadelphia

Joe Rogan’s mouth has put Spotify in a predicament. The coronavirus vaccine comments and racial slurs on several episodes of his popular podcast are forcing the streaming service to weigh tough choices.

Spotify must decide its position based on race relations and vaccine misinformation in a society that is highly sensitive to both. Then there’s the business decision of what to do with Rogan’s $100 million podcast, which threatens bottom-line profits but is also an important part of the company’s strategy to become a one-stop shop. Comprehensive audio products.

Neither the streaming service nor Rogan spoke on Sunday. However, experts say Spotify’s management team must choose whether to sever ties with Rogan, as this risks causing more musicians to pull the strings of their jobs in protest. Or is there an average score that can be accepted by artists and registrants?

Whatever decision is made will not suit one side or the other in an increasingly polarized nation.

Adia Harvey Wingfield, professor of sociology at Washington University in St.

“If Spotify says ‘We can’t release him. He has the right to say what he wants, ‘it continues to happen when there is this tacit support for saying racist things on these platforms,'” she said.

“Streaming sites also have to decide whether offensive words are allowed elsewhere on their apps,” said John Wihbey, a Northeastern University professor and expert on emerging technologies. no, where there are songs with racist, homophobic and anti-immigrant messages.

“There is some real self-examination to do beyond Joe,” says Wihbey. “This is a critical moment to reckon with for entertainment and streaming platforms to see where the window is, where the line is.”

Erik Gordon, a professor of law and business at the University of Michigan, said the final question would be pretty straightforward for Spotify. The conservative Rogan stands in contrast to the much more liberal musicians, who make most of Spotify’s profits, he said.

“They can’t blow the artists away. Artists make Spotify,” said Gordon. “They need to work things out with Rogan, get him to a home that suits him for who he is. And everyone will be better. “

Having Rogan on Spotify is like having a political party with Donald Trump as the presidential candidate and the libertarian Elizabeth Warren as the vice president. “It’s not going to work,” said Gordon.

Spotify reports 406 million monthly active users, up nearly 20% from last year, and advertising has grown in large part thanks to podcasting. The company had 31% of the 524 million music streaming subscriptions worldwide in Q2 2021, more than double that of Apple Music in second place, according to Midia Research.

Rogan’s public troubles began on January 24, when musician Neil Young demanded that his music be removed over concerns that Rogan was fueling skepticism about a COVID-19 vaccine. Other artists followed suit, including Joni Mitchell and Roxane Gay.

The scrutiny only intensified when a composite video emerged last week showing Rogan repeatedly using racial slurs. Grammy Award-winning artist, India.Arie posted it on her Instagram, using the hashtag #DeleteSpotify.

The company has yet to publicly address the complaints, but Spotify recently removed dozens of episodes of the podcast.

Spotify, which reportedly paid more than $100 million to license Rogan’s podcast, previously said it would soon add a warning to all podcasts discussing COVID-19, directing listeners to information Facts, updates from scientists and public health experts.

“They take this money generated from streaming and they pay this guy $100 million, but they pay us like 0.003% a cent,” wrote Arie. “I don’t want to generate money to pay for that.”

Rogan apologized Saturday, saying the profanity was the “most regrettable and embarrassing thing” he had ever had to deal with and that he hadn’t used the N-word in years.

Spotify CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek said last week, before racial slurs surfaced, that “it’s important to me that we don’t take the position of content moderation. content”.

Ek told The Wall Street Journal last week that he took responsibility for “reacting too slowly” to criticism over vaccine misinformation. The company took five days to publicly respond to Young.

“It is clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to generally accepted information from the medical and scientific communities that guides us through the passage of time. unprecedented,” Ek continued in a statement.

Rogan is an odd mix of shocker and presenter who leads discussions on public policy, art and culture, says Wihbey, describing his brand as “the big brother.” children of America”.

What will happen to Spotify separating from Joe Rogan and his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience? Business Insider’s Natalie Jarvey says that although artists Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have pulled their music from the platform, the streaming service is unlikely to strike a $100 million deal with Rogan. The platforms have weathered other controversies over their content, she said, and are either grappling with creator status or bending to the frustrations of angry subscribers.

Wihbey said that his comment was clearly racist, but he hopes that Rogan will take this as an opportunity to discuss fundamentally issues of race and vaccines in future episodes. future. Otherwise, his audience might not be able to hear the discussions, Wihbey said.

“I really think that gathering this kind of audience is important,” he said. “He can say things that I think can be a guide.”

Wingfield doubts that Spotify can keep Rogan, but she says the controversy could be positive if it starts to turn into discussions about racial prejudice.

“I think if Joe Rogan learns from this experience and becomes the driving force behind that conversation, it could be really valuable,” she said. “But I want to stress again that it’s a pretty big if and I don’t know if it will ever come to be.” Joe Rogan’s use of racial denunciations puts pressure on Spotify – NBC10 Philadelphia


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