WHO IS JOE ROGAN?
On his website, Rogan is described as a 'stand up comic, mixed martial arts fanatic, psychedelic adventure & host of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.'
His podcast began back in 2009 & in 2020, an exclusivity deal was signed by Rogan for an estimated A$140 million. It means Spotify is the only place to listen to the podcast.
'Media Monitors' states that Rogan's audience is "71% male, evenly split between high school and post-secondary graduates."
The podcast is estimated to have 200 million people downloading episodes each month. This makes Rogan the most popular podcaster in the U.S.
When the Spotify deal was signed, Rogan was quick to tell his fans that Spotify has "no creative control of the show". Rogan said: "They want me to just continue doing it the way I'm doing it right now."
Music journalist Ted Gioia noted that the deal sent a message that "Spotify values Rogan more than any musician in the history of the world."
Rogan's podcast has become known in the mainstream for misinformation, making pernicious claims, as well as the usual controversial opinions.
Spotify and Rogan have made headlines recently after both the platform and the podcaster faced backlash due to COVID misinformation appearing on multiple podcast episodes.
At the time, Spotify did not correct or provide fact-checking or misinformation warnings.
Many musicians have since publicly condemned Spotify and removed their music from the streaming service in protest.
Spotify ultimately announced a plan to 'tackle misinformation'. The plan states that breaking these rules may result in "the violative content being removed from Spotify."
In a 10-minute video posted to Instagram on Sunday night, Rogan pledged to "try harder to get people with differing opinions on" and "do my best to make sure I've researched these topics".
He went on to say that "A lot of people … have a distorted perception of what I do," defending recent episodes of his show that featured guests who shared Covid conspiracy theories. He called these guests "highly credentialed … people [with] an opinion that's different from the mainstream narrative."
Spotify's has taken a hit amid the Rogan controversy, with their share price dropping as much as 18% as of February 3.
Spotify CEO, Daniel Ek, acknowledged the Rogan controversy and stated that he was "proud of the steps Spotify took" following the concerns raised by the medical and scientific communities. Ek said that policies were developed with input from internal and external experts.