Joe Rogan Backs Down On Controversial Claims As #DeletedSpotify Trends

By Doug Norrie | 3 months ago

joe rogan

Joe Rogan took to Instagram this week to check in on the recent controversy and dust-up he’s had on Spotify with his podcast The Joe Rogan Experience. The popular host has become something a lightning rod on the platform of late with some claiming that he is helping to spread disinformation in and around the Covid-19 response, vaccine, and other pieces having to do with the pandemic. In the wake of that, some popular musicians have removed their music catalog from Spotify and others are threatening to do the same. In light of this, Joe Rogan posted a lengthy response via video on Instagram in which he attempted to clear the air on the situation. 

During the nearly-10-minute long video, Joe Rogan discussed some of the ins and outs of the situation, while also attempting to describe some of the processes he uses in putting together each episode of the podcast. He is somewhat contrite in his talk, admitting that he doesn’t get everything right all the time. He also says he will try to “do better” in episodes going forward, especially when it comes to balancing out possibly controversial topics. Check out what Joe Rogan had to say about the situation. 

This Instagram video was in response to the move by artists Neil Young and Joni Mitchell last week who both opted to remove their music catalog from the Spotify service. Both cited Joe Rogan’s podcast as spreading disinformation about Covid-19 regulations as well as the vaccine. Rogan makes mention of two of the more controversial episodes featuring Dr. Peter McCollough and Dr. Robert Malone respectively. Rogan gives a little background on each, reminding folks that these are credited and published doctors in the field with expertise in and around pandemic-related topics including cardiology and vaccine efficacies. These episodes have become some of the most popular ones Rogan has ever put out. 

Joe Rogan also mentions that part of his discussions with a variety of folks is trying to drill down and find the truth around different topics that sometimes come off as controversial. But he’s also quick to remind folks that things that were considered misinformation even some months ago are now widely agreed to be true now. Around this he mentions cloth masks, the virus spread among vaccinated populations and a few other ones in which the narrative has shifted. In this way, Joe Rogan is trying to remind folks that what might be seen as misinformation now doesn’t necessarily always stay that way. 

Regardless, in the wake of artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell leaving Spotify, with others saying they will do the same because of Joe Rogan, the company’s shares took a tumble last week. Spotify lost nearly two billion dollars in market cap because of the sell-off though did see something of a correction when trading opened Monday morning. And Spotify has said they will be a bit more stringent with warning labels on different content if the topics are controversial. But that didn’t stop the #DeletedSpotify hashtag from trending as different folks stood to stand in solidarity with artists like Young and Mitchell. 

Joe Rogan has an exclusive licensing deal with Spotify that is rumored to be somewhere in the $100 million range. So it’s unlikely The Joe Rogan Experience is going anywhere on the platform, nor should it. Rogan is correct in his assessment that he is simply having conversations with folks about a variety of topics. And sometimes those will trend off course from the common media narrative. That’s kind of the point. Though Rogan did say he would try to “be better” going forward with having balanced episodes while bringing on different people to give opposing sides to a particular viewpoint. 

It will be interesting to see where this goes with Spotify and Joe Rogan. My guess is after taking to some episodes off when it comes to controversial topics and sticking to comedians and MMA folks for a bit, the public narrative will die down around Rogan and music streamer. That’s just the way these kinds of things tend to go.