Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Defends Decision to Continue Streaming Joe Rogan's Podcast

"We don't change our policies based on one creator nor do we change it based on any media cycle, or calls from anyone else"
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek Defends Decision to Continue Streaming Joe Rogan's Podcast
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek photo via Magnus Höij
Spotify CEO/controversial bootstrapper Daniel Ek has defended his company's decision to keep Joe Rogan's podcast The Joe Rogan Experience on its platform despite calls from multiple artists to remove the content from streaming for continually spreading "COVID disinformation."

As The New York Times reports, Ek addressed Spotify's handling of the controversial podcaster in an earnings call on Wednesday (February 2): "In general, what I would say is, it's too early to know what the impact may be," Ek said of the decision's financial implications. "And usually when we've had controversies in the past, those are measured in months and not days."

Ek maintained that Spotify does not expect its subscriptions to take a dip despite very public callouts by Neil YoungGraham Nash, Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Joni Mitchell and India.Arie, among other artists who have all requested that their music be removed from the service in response to Rogan's continued support from the streamer.

"I think the important part here is that we don't change our policies based on one creator nor do we change it based on any media cycle, or calls from anyone else," Ek said on the call.

"Our policies have been carefully written with the input from numbers of internal and external experts in this space," he continued. "And I do believe they're right for our platform. And while Joe has a massive audience — he is actually the number one podcast in more than 90 markets — he also has to abide by those policies."

As Pitchfork points out, 270 medical professionals published an open letter addressed to Spotify in December 2021, accusing the streamer of broadcasting "false and societally harmful assertions" about COVID by hosting Rogan's podcast.

Rogan responded to the outrage earlier this week in a lengthy Instagram video, saying his episodes are "just conversations," and that he would "do my best to make sure that I've researched these topics, the controversial ones in particular, and have all the pertinent facts at hand before I discuss them."