The Swedish music streaming service at the end of 2021 reported that the number of its users is approaching 400 million people. Among them, at least 155 million paid subscribers. The plans for the development of the service were very ambitious. But an unpleasant event occurred that affected not only the number of users of the streaming platform, but also the value of its shares.
The scandal occurred against the background of the coronavirus pandemic and the attitude of some odious artists towards it. Spotify is suffering from international criticism from academics, musicians and acquaintances because the streaming platform is not doing enough to combat misinformation.
In particular, the Joe Rogan podcast show, which can be heard exclusively on Spotify, has been criticized. Rogan recently interviewed several scientists who shared misinformation about the coronavirus and vaccines. Neil Young and Joni Mitchell removed their music from Spotify last week in protest, several top podcasts want to improve the platform, and Rogan promises to do more research for his podcasts from now on.
Spotify’s share price has been spiraling down for months, exacerbated by the Rogan hype. At the end of 2022, Spotify’s market value has evaporated by two billion, out of a total market value of $32 billion.
In addition, statistics from the streaming service claim that about 19 percent of all users have left it, including half of paid subscribers.
The creator and leader of the Swedish green giant admitted that the situation is very difficult and in the future it is impossible to concentrate so much effort on one artist, even empty and very popular.
Not everyone thinks Spotify’s move is enough. Critics want Spotify to take down Rogan podcast episodes discussing lies about the corona virus. The platform says it won’t do this because the content doesn’t violate any terms. However, Spotify said it removed twenty thousand other podcast episodes because they didn’t meet the terms.
The Rogan hype is bad news for Spotify, which has landed a world-famous podcaster in 2020. Since then, The Joe Rogan Experience has only been available to stream on Spotify, with a licensing deal reportedly netting Rogan over $100 million. On average, about eleven million subscribers listen to the series, making Rogan the most followed podcaster.
Two well-known musicians, Young and Mitchell, have removed their music from Spotify after hundreds of academics sent an open letter to Spotify asking them to take tougher action against misinformation spread on podcasts. The email contains an explicit reference to Rogan’s podcast show. Musicians call on fellow musicians to boycott Spotify.