Spotify continued to quietly remove more episodes of Joe Rogan's incredibly popular podcast from their service months after he agreed to a $100 million exclusive deal with the media streaming company. The deletions were documented by Digital Music News, which reported that 42 podcasts had been deleted from his vast catalogue of nearly 1,500 epi. Spotify appears to be removing controversial episodes of its wildly popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast from its library. According to a report from Digital Music News, 42 episodes of the podcast. Joe Rogan Admits He Lied About Spotify Censoring Him Joe Rogan accidentally lets it slip that Spotify is censoring his show, as many people suspected there were strings attached to his purported.
Joe Rogan made his debut on Spotify on Tuesday, but apparently not all of his podcast episodes made the cut.
Several past episodes with controversial guests are notably absent from the new Joe Rogan Experience channel, including interviews with conspiracy theorists Alex Jones and David Seaman, right-wing figures such as Owen Benjamin, Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInnes, Charles C. Johnson and Sargon of Akkad, and comedian Chris D'Elia, who has recently been accused of sexual impropriety. A few of the vanished guests were more perplexing, such as pot activist Tommy Chong.
Rogan's fans wondered online whether Spotify refused to allow certain episodes, or if Rogan himself decided to trim the archive of his most frequently criticized content, or if this was some sort of oddly specific temporary oversight. A representative for Spotify and Rogan did not return a request for comment, and Rogan's Twitter feed was silent on the matter.
Mikhaila Peterson, daughter of the controversial professor and public speaker Jordan Peterson, slammed the move:
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Okay. Getting demonetized from @youtube is one thing. At least they didn’t shut down my channel. However this is COMPLETELY different.
@spotify is NOT uploading select @joerogan episodes including my episode. pic.twitter.com/r4HCPhr35j— Mikhaila Peterson (@MikhailaAleksis) September 1, 2020
Spotify reportedly paid more than $100 million to lure the country's most popular podcaster exclusively to the streaming service. The Spotify-based shows launched with a marathon five-hour interview with comedian Duncan Trussell, but the missing episodes were not addressed. Rogan's shows are still currently available on YouTube and podcasting platforms like iTunes, but the plan is for JRE to move exclusively to Spotify by the end of the year. The partnership was considered a massive win for Spotify, which has seen its stock nearly double since the deal was announced in May.© Vivian Zink/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images Certain episodes of 'The Joe Rogan Experience' featuring alt-right guests, conspiracy theorists and others are missing from Spotify
Rogan's podcast includes more than 1,500 episodes of long-form interviews with comedians, actors, sports figures, authors, intellectuals, and political commentators. The comedian and MMA commentator has long prided himself on talking to people from across the political spectrum and has frequently railed against 'de-platforming' – tech companies that remove controversial voices.
“They want me to just continue doing it the way I’m doing it right now,” Rogan has previously said of the Spotify deal. “It’s just a licensing deal, so Spotify won’t have any creative control over the show. It will be the exact same show. We’re going to be working with the same crew doing the exact same show.'
In a profile of Rogan in The Atlantic last August, writer Devin Gordon broke down Rogan's many strengths as a podcaster, yet also cited some of his guest choices as a serious blindspot: 'Joe likes [Jack Dorsey]. He likes Milo Yiannopoulos. He likes Alex Jones. He wants you to know that he doesn’t agree with much of what they say, but he also wants you to know that off camera they’re the nicest guys. If we all have fatal flaws, this is Joe’s: his insistence on seeing value in people even when he shouldn’t, even when they’ve forfeited any right to it, even when the harm outweighs the good. It comes from a generous place, but it amounts to careless cruelty. He just won’t write people off, and then he compounds the sin by throwing them a lifeline at the moment when they least deserve it.'
Now it seems in Rogan's move to Spotify that a handful of his most radioactive guests may have at last been written off – or, at least, off his new platform.
Spotify has deleted some 42 episodes of 'The Joe Rogan Experience', a podcast it deemed controversial, according to Digital Music News.
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According to the report, the streaming service has been quietly removing the episodes, including interviews with figures like right wing Breitbart news editor Milo Yiannopoulos, Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, and comedian Chris D’Elia, who is accused of grooming minors for sex and soliciting pornography.
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Two additional episodes have been recently removed, the report said, among them an interview with Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey, who has been nicknamed by some the 'father of biohacking', and a ‘Live from the Icehouse’ episode (#149) featuring Joe Rogan and Little Esther, Al Madrigal, Josh McDermitt, Brendon Walsh, Felicia Michaels, and Brian Redban.
Asprey, according to New York Post, is criticised for promoting diets that are not confirmed by doctors or health experts.
There has been no official statement from Spotify to explain reasons behind the disappearance of the podcasts.
Earlier in March, Rogan confirmed that there were several episodes that Spotify 'didn’t want on their platform'. He later added that the platform was not telling him what content was allowed.
“A lot of people are like, ‘they’re telling Joe Rogan what he can and can’t do’. They’re not — they’re not', he claimed at the time, cited by Digital Music News.
This is not the first time that contents of a Rogan podcast raise questions from Spotify, as in September 2020, according to media reports, a group of the platform's staffers threatened to strike unless the service began to subject the podcast to editorial oversight. The employees demanded that Spotify allow the removal of 'problematic' parts of Rogan's show, as well as fact-checking his assertions and issuing warnings.
Later, BuzzFeed News, citing an internal Spotify memo, reported that it had been decided that an October 2020 interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones would remain on the platform even though other episodes with his participation were removed. This was reportedly done in response to strike threats by the staffers.
“We are not going to ban specific individuals from being guests on other people’s shows, as the episode/show complies with our content policies,” Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify’s chief legal officer and head of global affairs, wrote in the memo, according to BuzzFeed News.
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Spotify remains the only source of the Joe Rogan content under the deal he made a deal with the platform after garnering over 8 million viewers on YouTube.