Following his controversial claims and false assertions of infamous podcaster and UFC Commentator Joe Rogan landed in hot waters.
This sparked public backlash and numerous notable people started criticizing Rogan’s antics, one of which was the legendary singer of the supergroup Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Neil Young. The musician commanded popular streaming service Spotify, to banish Joe Rogan and his content completely from the platform or remove him and his music catalog. Spotify opted to stick by Rogan, and Young’s music was removed.
But that signified the beginning of a public relations crisis for Spotify. Ultimately it was found out that Spotify had paid Rogan more than double of what was initially thought to make a switch ($200 million). In addition to the public backlash – Spotify also faced and increased level of scrutiny any time the podcast experienced downtime. These technical issues led the several of Joe Rogan has been banned media waves. But in spite of the both waves of publicity – Spotify is content to be in the Joe Rogan business.
Research Company ‘Forrester Research’ has found that Spotify has lost 19% of its paying subscribers in a February report. According to yahoo!finance:
“It had a relatively small size, polling 657 online consumers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, of which about one-third were Spotify users. That implies a sizeable margin of error”
Since then it has been confirmed Spotify lost about 1.5 million paying customers in the first quarter of 2022.
According to Variety, Spotify CFO Paul Vogel shared that Russia is to blame for the bleak numbers:
“Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to Vogel, Spotify was trending ahead of its Q1 guidance of adding a net 8 million total users, including 3 million paying customers. That suggests that Spotify was not seeing a significant loss of users because of the backlash over Rogan.”
Spotify closed its offices in Russia and pulled content from Russian state affiliated media outlets – the streaming app also accepting ads in Russia and is no longer collecting premium subscription revenue.
Spotify CFO confirmed that Spotify won’t be disabling access from Russia “to allow for the global flow of information,”.