The political Left’s attempts to cancel Joe Rogan’s podcast on Spotify appear to have backfired as the company’s new quarterly earnings report revealed that the platform exceeded its expectations for new paying subscribers.
Spotify did not cave to pressure earlier this year to take action against Rogan over claims that he had spread misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic with comments that he made and with some of the people that he chose to bring onto his show.
“Despite the backlash, Spotify saw its paid memberships increase, and the platform now has 182 million premium subscribers — up from 180 million in the previous quarter and 15% higher year over year,” CNN reported. “Total revenue was up 24% over last year.”
The company noted that had it not pulled out of Russia following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine that it would have done even better in terms of growth.
“Excluding the impact of our exit from Russia, subscriber growth exceeded expectations,” the company said.
The new numbers come as Spotify recently declined to renew its contract with former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama because the couple did not make enough appearances on the streaming service.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a statement back in February that while he disagreed with some of Rogan’s past comments and he agreed with Rogan’s decision to remove some podcast episodes, he did not believe that silencing Rogan was the right move.
“I want to make one point very clear – I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer,” Ek said. “We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope. Looking at the issue more broadly, it’s critical thinking and open debate that powers real and necessary progress.”
Rogan recently claimed that he saw a major increase in paid subscribers due to the political Left’s attempts to cancel him.
“It’s interesting, but my subscriptions went up massively. That’s what’s crazy,” Rogan said earlier this month. “During the height of it all, I gained two million subscribers.”
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