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Spotify’s market value drops by $2 billion in one week

Artists are boycotting the streaming platform amid COVID misinformation claims

  • Becky Buckle
  • 31 January 2022
Spotify’s market value drops by $2 billion in one week

Spotify's market value has plummeted by $2.1 billion in just one week amid controversy around the platform's continued support of podcaster Joe Rogan.

Joni Mitchell and Neil Young have removed their work from Spotify in protest against Rogan’s exclusive podcast citing misinformation on vaccinations and COVID.

The streaming giant has promised to add a “content advisory” warning when any podcast mentions COVID-19, in reaction to the public outcry.

CEO Daniel Ek has released a statement on the matter outlining how the streaming service will plan to combat this issue.

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“This [COVID] advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources,” the statement reads.

“This new effort to combat misinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days. To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform.”

The statement also sets out Spotify’s platform rules that include not publishing “content that promotes dangerous false or dangerous deceptive medical information that may cause offline harm or poses a direct threat to public health.”

Examples of this are by asserting that COVID is a “hoax or not real” or “encouraging people to purposely get infected with COVID-19 in order to build immunity to it.”

Joe Rogan’s podcast is one of the most popular on the platform, reaching millions of listeners worldwide.

In a 10-minute video shared via Rogan’s Instagram he says that "a lot of people... have a distorted perception of what I do" and that the episodes with the most criticism featured "highly credentialled" doctors.

He continues by saying he is "interested in having interesting conversations with people that have differing opinions" and not just people who have "one perspective".

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Rogan ends his video by announcing he will "try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people's perspectives so we can maybe find a better point of view".

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have a podcast deal with Spotify which is estimated to be worth $25 million.

According to BBC News the Archewell Foundation have said: “Last April, our co-founders began expressing concerns to our partners at Spotify about the all too real consequences of COVID-19 misinformation on its platform."

"We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis. We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does.”

Becky Buckle is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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