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As a number of high profile artists remove their music from Spotify due to an ongoing debate about Joe Rogan's content, the whole thing seems to have worked in favour of one musician in particular.
Rogan is one of Spotify's biggest podcasters; his show The Joe Rogan Experience attracts an audience of 11 million per episode, and the streaming platform signed an exclusive rights deal with the host worth around $100 million in 2020.
However, Rogan and the podcast have often come under fire for giving airtime to problematic views and topics, whether it's a recent episode discussing skin colour with Jordan Peterson, or his controversial interviews with doctors Robert Malone and Peter McCullough, the latter of which suggested the pandemic was planned.
Last week, legendary musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell removed their music from the platform, citing Rogan's podcast and the fact it frequently discusses vaccine misinformation and conspiracy theories.
'We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users,' the company said in response. 'With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators.' Still, the music platform sided with the podcast host, saying, 'We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.'
Young's decision came after a group of 270 doctors, scientists and medical professionals wrote to Spotify expressing concerns over Rogan's podcast, telling the platform, 'This is not only a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to thrive on its platform.'
Even more 'unsettling' for some, You're Beautiful singer James Blunt also got involved in the matter, 'If @spotify doesn’t immediately remove @joerogan, I will release new music onto the platform. #youwerebeautiful,' he wrote.
It seems the tweet has worked in Blunt's favour, revealing his greatest hits album, The Stars Beneath My Feet, was apparently sitting pretty at the top of the Amazon best-seller chart, ahead of Ed Sheeran and Adele.
'Oh no. Look what 2022’s gone and done,' Blunt captioned the post.
In response to the recent controversy, Rogan posted a 10-minute video to Instagram, promising to 'do my best in future to balance things out'.
In a statement, Spotify's CEO Daniel Ek said it is 'important' the platform doesn't 'take on the position of being content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them'. Ek did not mention Rogan specifically, but Spotify is now adding a 'content advisory' notice to podcast episodes that feature discussions around coronavirus, and will publish its platform rules for the first time. Among them are rules barring 'content that promotes dangerous false or dangerous deceptive medical information that may cause offline harm or poses a direct threat to public health', the New York Times reports.
Spotify has recently removed 70 episodes of Rogan's podcast that saw the host use racial slurs, NME reports, though the episodes of disputed vaccine misinformation are still available, despite the controversy they've caused.
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