(CelebrityAccess) – Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has finally acknowledged the percolating controversy surrounding COVID-19 content on Joe Rogan’s podcast by announcing new policies on programming related to COVID.
In the wake of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Springsteen guitarist, Nils Lofgren pulling their music from Spotify, Ek announced the streaming service will add “content advisory” warnings to any podcasts that may discuss COVID-19. However, Ek’s announcement states they won’t “take on the position of being a content censor.”
On Sunday, Ek pledged the new content warnings will redirect users to a data hub filled with coronavirus facts. Ek writes via Spotify’s website, “We have an obligation to do more to provide a balance and access to widely-accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time.”
Rogan, posting from his official Instagram has pledged to “try harder to get people with differing opinions on his show”, which averages 11 million listeners per episode. In an almost 10-minute video, he apologies to Spotify but denies trying to spread misinformation on purpose. He says, he “never tried to do anything with this podcast other than to just talk to people.” In the video, he points out that he’s also had guests on the show with views that align with the majority, like Dr. Michael Osterholm, a member of President Biden’s COVID advisory board. He goes on to say he does agree with the addition of the disclaimer before any controversial episodes. Seemingly addressing the various musicians pulling their music, he says, “I’m not mad at Neil Young. I’m a huge Neil Young fan,” and goes on to express his appreciation for Mitchell’s music as well.
Rogan thanks Spotify for standing with him. “I want to thank Spotify for being so supportive during this time, and I’m very sorry that this is happening to them and that they’re taking so much heat from it,” he said.
Spotify has come under scrutiny over Rogan and his views on COVID, including the pandemic, medications, and vaccines. In addition to Lofgren, Young, and Mitchell – The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have also expressed “concerns” to Spotify over misinformation but will not pull their podcast from the platform. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s audio production company, Archewell Audio, entered a deal with Spotify worth a reported $25M.