Joe Rogan’s podcast has become one of the most listened-to shows on Spotify since the platform added it to its lineup last year. It’s also become one of the most controversial due to Rogan’s choice of guests and his own views. Spotify doesn’t have any plans to do anything about it, though, because the company’s CEO doesn’t believe the platform should have any say on podcasters’ content. When Axios asked Spotify CEO Daniel Ek in an interview whether the company should have editorial responsibility over podcasts like Rogan’s, Ek responded that Rogan is just one of its many content creators.
Axios pointed out that Rogan may be just one of them, but he’s also one of the most well-paid. Ek responded, however, that rappers earns tens of millions of dollars from the platform, but Spotify doesn’t dictate what they can put in their songs either. Rogan signed a $100 million deal with the audio streaming service in May 2020 to make The Joe Rogan Experience available to Spotify listeners. Before the year ended, the podcast became a Spotify exclusive.
According to a Wall Street Journal report from last year, Spotify employees expressed concerns over the materials in his podcast that they felt was anti-transgender. Rogan has guested several polarizing figures on the show since its debut on the platform. They include Abigail Shrier, author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters, and InfoWars owner Alex Jones who spread coronavirus misinformation on the podcast. More recently, Rogan said he doesn’t think people should get the COVID-19 vaccine, though he did backtrack and told listeners not to take his advice seriously.
In Spotify’s most recent earnings report, it said Rogan’s podcast performed “above expectations.” Clearly, whatever he’s doing is getting people to tune in, so the company probably doesn’t see any reason to step in.