| 18 Apr 2024
Spotify employees reportedly want editorial control over Joe Rogan podcast!

MUMBAI: Leaked inside information indicates that Spotify employees may be asking for greater editorial control over Joe Rogan's JRE Podcasts. Multiple Spotify meetings over Joe Rogan's unfiltered style have reportedly taken place, leading to Spotify CEO defending the right to speak freely.

While this seems like an unlikely move and one that wouldn't be popular with viewers, it also might be possible under Spotify's content rules.

The Spotify deal to host the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) was announced earlier this year, moving the wildly popular podcast from its original home on YouTube to the new video podcast section on Spotify.

Rogan told listeners that the entire JRE library would be available on Spotify starting September, although that wasn't totally true. Spotify found some episodes that violated its content rules and did not add them to the library. Which led to a controversial figure, a common tactic among the most popular talk show hosts. Rogan's unfiltered comments often cause an uproar among various groups, which plays right into the show's approach. Rogan claims to simply be speaking his mind and even makes a rare apology if proven wrong about a topic.

According to Vice, a town hall meeting was held to discuss the issue. Apparently, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek defended Rogan's right to speak freely, while gingerly acknowledging Spotify's own responsibility to moderate its content. Ek was said to mention ten other meetings about Rogan recently, so this could be an ongoing issue.

Spotify CEO Ek reportedly looked to justify the company's decision to continue hosting the episode by stating "The fact that we aren't changing our position doesn't mean we aren't listening. It just means we made a different judgment call."

The recent round of controversy is thought to be in relation to a JRE episode from July, featuring a book with the title "Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters." As if the title and the subject wasn't alarming enough, Rogan added fuel to the fire claiming trans activists have an agenda, " that anybody who even thinks they might be trans should be trans, are trans, and the more trans people the better.

Although Spotify is a business and it does exist to make money and grow. However, Spotify also must honor contractual obligations and wade through what is and is not possible in terms of editorial control. Spotify has already excluded some of the few JRE episodes from the spotify library, but whether further action will be taken remains unclear. Much of that may actually come down to subscriber actions. If Rogan causes Spotify to lose more subscribers than it gains, that could make a difference, but so far, that doesn’t seem to be happening, likely meaning further JRE content restrictions are unlikely.