Spotify Backs Free Speech, Says Platform Has No ‘Editorial Responsibility’ For Joe Rogan’s Podcast

Spotify is the exclusive distributor of Joe Rogan Experience thanks to a record breaking deal signed in May of 2020 and reportedly worth around $100 million per year. The ground breaking deal broke many records for them – but is lately a big trouble source.

Following the very public backlash of various celebrities against the platform and a share value drop Spotify CEO had to make a stand. In a recent employee town hall, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek reportedly informed staff that the platform cannot actively tell content creators what to publish:

According to Ek doubled down on the fact that spotify has no editorial control over Joe Rogan Experience – to put it in simple terms Spotify cannot tell Rogan who to interview or what to talk about.

According to one employee, Ek said that “Spotify doesn’t approve Rogan’s guest list. They don’t look at his content until it goes up, and so they don’t have editing power.” He added that, “They just look at it after it’s already on the platform and remove it if it doesn’t meet guidelines.”

A different executive – Dawn Ostroff is said to have “repeatedly used the phrase ‘if we were a publisher,’ very strongly implying we are not a publisher, so we don’t have editorial responsibility.”

Spotify shares have hit a one year low – however they’re still way above where they were before the platform acquired Rogan’s monolith of a podcast. Current price of a Spotify share is $159.75. Before the deal was announced Spotify was traded at $137.8.

Variety reported a different quote from the meeting:
“We don’t change our policies based on one creator, nor do we change it based on any media cycle or call from anyone else,” Spotify CEO Ek added. “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. And while Joe [Rogan] has a massive audience, and is actually the No. 1 podcast in more than 90 markets, he also has to abide by those policies.”