Spotify rolls out Covid disclosures after Joe Rogan boycott

Spotify rolls out Covid disclosures after Joe Rogan boycott


The Spotify logo on a smartphone arranged in Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, on Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022.

Gabby Jones | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Spotify is rolling out a Covid content advisory tab on podcasts and other content that mentions the coronavirus.

Spotify promised the feature, a small blue tab that directs to its Covid-19 information hub, nearly two months ago. It comes after a handful of musicians and creators boycotted the platform for its airing of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which they say spread Covid-19 vaccine misinformation.

Spotify said it began to roll out the feature to users on Feb. 2, but CNBC spotted it in the app for the first time on Monday. The company didn’t say why it might not have been visible before now, but software updates typically roll out over several weeks or months.

“On January 30, 2022, Spotify announced plans to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19,” a spokesperson told CNBC. “Three days later, on Feb 2, we launched the content advisory on our platform and we’ve been adding it to episodes that include discussion about COVID-19 on a rolling basis ever since. Today, the COVID content advisory appears on ~1.4 million podcast episodes on our platform.”

Host Joe Rogan also faced accusations from medical professionals that he has repeatedly spread conspiracy theories about Covid-19.

Spotify had been under fire for hosting the episodes. It bought the exclusive streaming rights to “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast in a deal reportedly worth at least $200 million.

After the scandal, Spotify promised to add content advisories that would connect users with public health resources. Rogan later praised the company’s decision but defended his booking of controversial guests.

“I’m not trying to promote misinformation, I’m not trying to be controversial,” Rogan said at the time “I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than to just talk to people.”

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Author: Shirley