The Swedish tech company and music streaming service Spotify announced a 24% annual growth in revenue after refusing to bow to the woke mob and remove controversial podcaster Joe Rogan from its platform.
The platform has “182 million premium subscribers — up from 180 million in the previous quarter and 15% higher year over year, the company said in its first-quarter earnings report Wednesday. Total revenue was up 24% over last year.”
The company did slightly underperform projections due to the war causing them to suspend service in Russia. They don’t seem too bothered by this though. Spotify is still happy with its growth as can be seen in this released statement: “Excluding the impact of our exit from Russia, subscriber growth exceeded expectations.”
Spotify came to national prominence when Neil Young, a musician, asked for his music to be removed from Spotify in protest of Joe Rogan, a well-known podcaster who has incurred controversy by sometimes hosting guests with heterodox epidemiological views, as well as past recordings of him using racial epithets. Several other artists and podcasters followed suit.
In response to this PR crisis, Spotify claimed it was “trying to balance creative expression with the safety of our users.” It then refused to take action against Joe Rogan, and eventually, Neil Young relented and let his music return.
Looking back on the controversy, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said “Of course, this is a very complicated issue, But I’m really proud of the steps that we took following the concerns raised by the medical and scientific communities.” Spotify has since added an advisory link to CDC information on COVID in the descriptions of podcasts discussing the pandemic.
Joe Rogan was less measured in his reflections “It’s interesting, but my subscriptions went up massively. That’s what’s crazy. During the height of it all, I gained two million subscribers.”
While Young and Rogan are staying on Spotify, one prominent couple is not. The rumors that former President Barack Obama and former First Lady Michelle Obama were going to leave Spotify turned out to be true, though not in the way you might think. It was recently announced that Spotify was not renewing its contract with the Obamas, largely in light of their relatively rare personal appearances on its platform.