Spotify appears to have removed approximately 70 episodes of Joe Rogan’s “The Joe Rogan Experience” as the company faces continued left-wing pressure to boot Rogan, their top performer, from the platform.
“The apparent removal of the episodes, all of which were recorded years before the pandemic began, was spotted by JREMissing,” CNET reported. “The fan-made website uses Spotify’s API to compare available episodes to a database of all episodes recorded.”
Gizmodo reported that it “manually checked” JREMissing’s claim that the episodes had been removed and “confirmed the site’s assessment.”
The move comes after Spotify CEO Daniel Ek reportedly told employees on Wednesday that the platform does not have editorial discretion over Joe Rogan’s #1-rated podcast. The Los Angeles Times reported that the company does not screen his guest list and only takes action after episodes are published.
The article was primarily based off sources who appeared eager to cast the company in a negative light and further put pressure on it to take action against Rogan. The report said in-part:
At the employee town hall, both Ek and chief content and advertising business officer Dawn Ostroff “repeatedly used the phrase ‘if we were a publisher,’ very strongly implying we are not a publisher, so we don’t have editorial responsibility” for Rogan’s show, said a second Spotify employee who listened to the remarks — and who, like some Spotify employees listening, found the executives’ position “a dubious assertion at best.”
In a chat linked to the town hall livestream, “A large portion of the angry comments were about how Spotify’s exclusive with Rogan means it’s more than just a regular platform,” said one employee.
Ek appeared to take a slightly stronger stance during an earnings call against the left-wing media backlash to Rogan.
“We don’t change our policies based on one creator, nor do we change that based on any media cycle or calls from anyone else,” Ek said. “Our policies have been carefully written with the input from numbers of internal and external experts in this space, and I do believe they’re right for our platform.”
“Usually when we have controversies in the past, those are measured in months, not days,” he added. “But I feel good about where we are in relation to that and top-line trends look healthy still.”
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