Spotify CEO speaks out on Joe Rogan controversy — Analysis
“I don’t imagine that silencing Joe is the reply,” Daniel Ek mentioned in a memo
Regardless of blasting Joe Rogan for utilizing the N-word on his present, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek made it clear to workers that the platform has no plans to half methods with its No. 1 podcaster.
In Sunday’s inner memo, which had been obtained by the media, Ek mentioned that he was sorry that the latest controversy across the extremely common The Joe Rogan Expertise (JRE) podcast has left a few of Spotify’s employees “feeling drained, annoyed and unheard.”
The entrepreneur described a few of Rogan’s on-air feedback as “extremely hurtful,” revealing that the platform has held “conversations” with the 54-year-old comic in regards to the content material of his reveals, together with “his historical past of utilizing some racially insensitive language.”
In accordance with Ek, it was after these “conversations” that the podcaster determined to take away 70 episodes of his program from Spotify final week. Rogan additionally issued an apology, explaining in a video that he had solely used the N-word “in context,” whereas discussing a selected story or an individual, not as a racist insult. However he mentioned that he now understood that it was nonetheless a unsuitable factor to do and that the context didn’t matter.
“Whereas I strongly condemn what Joe has mentioned and I agree together with his resolution to take away previous episodes from our platform, I notice some will need extra. And I wish to make one level very clear – I don’t imagine that silencing Joe is the reply,” the Spotify CEO wrote.
The platform ought to clearly take motion towards dangerous content material, however “canceling voices is a slippery slope,” he identified. “Wanting on the subject extra broadly, it’s essential pondering and open debate that powers actual and vital progress.”
Ek reiterated that Spotify was “not the writer of JRE” regardless of its $100 million unique cope with Rogan implying in any other case.
He additionally promised that the platform will allocate $100 million for licensing, growth, and advertising and marketing of music and audio content material from traditionally marginalized teams. Such a transfer would work towards “enhancing the established order and enhancing the dialog altogether,” in line with the CEO.
Disputes just like the one now taking place round JRE are “inevitable” so long as Spotify stays on target to “turning into the worldwide audio platform,” whereas sustaining openness as its core worth, Ek identified.
The discharge of a clip final week, through which a number of cases of Rogan utilizing the N-word had been lumped collectively, has develop into one more blow to the podcaster, whose present typically gathers an viewers of as many as 11 million listeners per episode.
In January, a number of artists, together with such icons as Neil Younger and Joni Mitchell, pulled or threatened to drag their content material from Spotify in protest towards the comic’s alleged spreading of misinformation about Covid-19 and vaccines.
Again then, Spotify responded by saying that it is going to be including a “content material advisory” to any podcast episodes that handle the coronavirus, directing customers to “trusted sources” on the pandemic reminiscent of knowledge from the federal government and well being specialists. Rogan mentioned he was “very pleased” with that call.