Joe Rogan is reportedly being paid $200 million to have his podcast exclusively on Spotify. And while Spotify has done little to rein in or criticize Rogan for spreading vaccine misinformation or use of the N-word on his podcast, the comedian and mixed martial arts commentator says he would walk away from the lucrative deal if that changed.
Rogan complained about the added scrutiny The Joe Rogan Experience is under. “Is everyone going to pour over every single thing I say?” he said. “There’s more people poring over it, but it’s the same thing. I do it the same way.”
What may have sparked Rogan’s comments was the rollout of new COVID-19 content advisory labels by Spotify on many of the podcasts on its app — including Rogan’s show. The label sends users to a list of other podcasts that have dug into the facts and effects of the pandemic as well as the CDC website. TechCrunch reports Spotify has slapped the warning label on more than 1.4 million podcasts. It reportedly is added to any show where the words “coronavirus” or “pandemic” appear in the metadata of an episode, including its title.
Spotify pulled down more than 100 episodes of Rogan’s podcast in February after a video circulated on social media showing his repeated use of the N-word on his show. Rogan issued an apology, but he also said that the video circulated on social media combined with when it was used was a “political hit job” against him. “They’re taking all this stuff I’ve ever said that’s wrong and smushing it all together. It’s good because it makes me address some stuff that I really wish wasn’t out there.”