Spotify denies Joe Rogan controversy cost them millions of subscribers

Joe Rogan talking on Joe Rogan podcastSpotify/Joe Rogan

Spotify has denied that the controversy around Joe Rogan is the reason they’ve lost over 1 million subscribers recently, despite all the backlash surrounding the podcast host. 

Over the last few years, the Joe Rogan Experience has grown to become the biggest podcast on the planet, with Spotify handing over a shed load of cash to make it exclusive to their platform.

While Rogan’s show has had its positive for the streaming service, there have also been issues too. The comedian has been plunged into controversy for comments made about the global health situation as well as previous statements that had been labeled as racist.

Despite calls to rip up the deal with Rogan, Spotify have defended the UFC commentator but also made a few changes to the show – with over 100 historic episodes being removed from their airwaves and a disclaimer now appearing on some episodes. 

Joe Rogan talking on podcastSpotify/Joe Rogan
Rogan has been in the firing line a few times since the Spotify exclusivity deal went through.

While Spotify’s market value took a massive hit during the Rogan controversy, the platform was still outperforming expectations for growth during Q1.

As per Variety, Spotify CFO Paul Vogel noted that the platform is restricting premium access in Russia due to the invasion of Ukraine, meaning that they’d lose around 1.5 million paying users.

Speaking at Morgan Stanley’s 2022 Technology, Media, and Telecom Conference, Vogel did allude to Rogan’s controversy causing a bit of turbulence, but nothing like the numbers they’ve lost recently. “Going through a little bit of controversy, there’s always going to be some impact,” Spotify’s CFO said, though he didn’t mention Rogan by name.

spotify-moneySpotify/Unsplash
Spotify has stuck by Rogan despite some turbulence.

As noted, the deal between Rogan and Spotify has been pretty beneficial for both parties, as the podcast still manages to bring in massive listener figures.

The calls to shut the deal down have not subsided, and likely won’t anytime soon, but it seems as Spotify remains unfazed by it.

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