The writing has been on the wall with this one since Joe Rogan announced his $100 million-dollar multi-year Spotify exclusive deal in May 2020. The Joe Rogan catalogue if you look back far enough is all but certain to have some content that people would find offensive.
Some staff are internally are fighting against content in Joe’s back catalogue which they deem to be transphobic. There is a particular episode where Joe interviews an author who wrote a book comparing transitioning to eating disorders and self-harm, as well as comments made by Joe himself which many have deemed offensive.
It isn’t a secret that Rogan interviews some divisive and many would say, hateful guests with opinions and perspectives that go outside the norms of personal opinion. Perhaps most notably, is Spotify removing episodes featuring Alex Jones, despite them being the most popular on YouTube.
While Spotify have said they reviewed the episode in question and have deemed it doesn’t violate their content guidelines, it seems many internally are not happy. I wouldn’t be surprised if you see protesting or an exodus from Spotify over the decision.
Ironically, when Joe Rogan announced the move back in May he said, “Spotify want me to just continue doing it the way I’m doing it right now. It’s just a licensing deal, so Spotify won’t have any creative control over the show.” – which seems funny given that quite a few episodes are missing from Spotify.
The thing is, this is not going to be the first or last incident in which Joe Rogan causes controversy not only with numerous communities and people, but internally with Spotify staff. We will truly see just how much creative control Spotify are willing to give Rogan, especially if his comments about trans people keep being negative.
Don’t be surprised if down the track in a few months, a year or whatever, you hear of Joe Rogan fighting to get out of his contract with Spotify because of the stranglehold they have and content policies. I don’t think it’s a matter of if, but when.