“The company is trying to balance user safety with creative expression,” Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said Wednesday of the controversy surrounding comedian and podcast host Joe Rogan. “Of course this is a very complex issue,”
Ek said in the company’s earnings call on Wednesday.
On the business side of Spotify, the company said it closed 2021 with 180 million paying subscribers.
But on Wednesday, Spotify (SPOT) stock fell more than 20 hours after its fourth-quarter earnings report, which suggested weak growth prospects.
Spotify has found itself in the midst of a storm after Neil Young and Joni Mitchell last week asked the streaming music company to remove music from the platform.
This is because Joe Rogan often made false and inaccurate claims about Covid-19 and vaccines on his popular Spotify podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.
Following the backlash, Spotify said it is adding content recommendations to all podcast episodes that contain discussions about Covid19.
The advisory will direct listeners to a Covid19 hub that will include links to trusted sources, the company said.
On Wednesday, Ek said that the company does not “change our policies based on one creator nor do we change it based on any media cycle or calls from anyone else.”
“While Joe has a massive audience… he also has to abide by those policies,” he added.
Ek mentioned that Rogan is the company’s No. 1 podcast in more than 90 markets.
The Spotify CEO also noted that the last several weeks have “presented a number of learning opportunities” for the company.
“There is still work to be done,” Ek said. “But I’m excited that Spotify is already implementing some first-class measures to help combat disinformation and provide more transparency.”
Earlier this week, Rogan responded to the controversy by saying, “He’s not trying to spread disinformation.”
In a video posted to Instagram on Sunday, Logan said, “I haven’t tried anything with this podcast other than talking to people and having interesting conversations.