Apple Music, Tidal Roast Spotify after Neil Young withdraws

Rust never sleeps, and apparently neither does social media or controversy.

Earlier this week, rock and roll legend Neil Young called for his music to be removed from streaming giant Spotify (PLACE) – Get the Spotify Technology SA report, citing misinformation about COVID-19 and its related vaccines, which is regularly offered by podcaster Joe Rogan. “They may have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both,” Young said, a survivor of childhood polio, in a report.

Rogan’s popular podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience” is one of the most popular in the medium. It is also a Spotify exclusive that the streaming service paid a 100 million dollar rumor to be purchased in 2020.

Spotify did not acquiesce to Young’s demands to get rid of Rogan, and the songwriter had his catalog taken down. In the wake of the controversy, #CancelSpotify has started to trend, with Spotify’s streaming competitors using the surge to gain free publicity, while critics of the service use it to push the service’s priorities.

Joe Rogan brings both listeners and headaches

You can love Joe Rogan or hate him, but there’s one thing that can’t be denied about him: the former sitcom actor turned reality TV host and mixed martial arts commentator is one of the most popular podcasters around. in the world. In fact, he’s arguably the most popular podcaster, period.

If some observers thought that signing an exclusive agreement with Spotify would limit its audience, the fact remains had the most popular podcast on Spotify last year.

By signing an exclusive deal with Rogan, Spotify gains access to his loyal fan base, but is also quite often in the awkward position of making it look like they condone his controversial statements.

Rogan has been widely accused of both transphobia and Islamophobiaand Spotify staff members would have pushed Spotify CEO Daniel Elk to remove episodes they deemed transphobic, which he refused to do after a staff meeting. However, the company is known to delete some episodes from the Rogan podcast, including an interview with Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes.

While Apple Podcasts have content restrictions “which may lead to harmful or dangerous results”, Spotify “like other technology companies that distribute media, is fundamentally uncomfortable making decisions about the type of media it distributes and does not want to distribute “, as noted by Vox.

Rogan has a history of making statements about COVID-19 and vaccine effectiveness that have drawn criticism from the medical community, as a statement that young people don’t need to get vaccinated, saying “if you’re 21 and you tell me, should I get vaccinated? I will go no. In response to the outcry over the statement, he later clarified “I’m not an anti-vax person,” Rogan said. “I believe they are safe and I encourage a lot of people to take them.”

The last flashpoint happened in December, when Rogan interviewed Robert Malone, a scientist and mRNA vaccine skeptic who was banned from Twitter for spreading false information, and told a recent anti-vaccine rally in Washington, DC that “the science is settled. They don’t work. (Scientists have repeatedly pointed out that this is incorrect.)

Spotify competitors jump into the fray

Some reviewers think this scuttlebutt being painted Spotify in a bad light by making them indifferent to a health crisis, while others applauded the company for not bowing to public pressure and standing up for Rogan’s right to free speech.

But regardless, in the long run, the dust between Young and Spotify should do little to hurt the streaming service’s bottom line, as it remains the most popular audio streaming service, with 381 million. monthly active users and 172 million Premium subscribers according to its latest earnings report.

When you are number one, there will always be competitors looking to take your place, and many competitors of the streaming giant took to social media to capitalize on the controversy and to point out that there are plenty of places to stream classic young albums like “Rust Never Sleeps” and “After the Gold Rush.”

Spotify has become so synonymous with streaming music that companies like Tidal, Deezer and SiriusXM (SIRI) – Get the report from Sirius XM Holdings, Inc. undoubtedly welcome the opportunity to remind people that there are other options.

Why Spotify supported Joe Rogan

One tweet that has gained traction online is from Damon Krukowski, a musician who played in influential indie rock band Galaxie 500, who has become one of the digital music sphere’s leading critics and commentators.

Depending on your perspective, this statement is either a dissent from Spotify or a lucid assessment of the company’s business model.

It is objectively true that Spotify’s main interest is to make people spend as much time as possible on its platform, which is why its growth strategy has focused heavily on podcasts in recent years.

Amid competition from Amazon and Apple, the company has sought to become less dependent on music and has recently purchased content, acquiring podcast companies such as Gimlet Media, Anchor FM Inc. (a company that helps people to create their own podcasts), Parcast, and sports/entertainment website and podcast network The Ringer.

Spotify has struggled to make money largely because streaming music has a low profit margin. The company noted that it has improved its margins thanks to its investments outside of music streaming.

Gross margin ended at 26.7% in the third quarter, above the upper end of our guidance range and reflecting nearly 200 basis points of Y/Y expansion. gross margin reflects a favorable shift in revenue mix toward podcasts, market activity, improved operating leverage from music advertising, and other revenue cost efficiencies ( e.g., payment fees, streaming costs), which were partially offset by higher non-music and other content costs and higher publishing rates,” the company wrote in its report on third quarter results.

Spotify lost $0.41 per share in its most recent quarter and expects losses to continue into the fourth quarter. The company has approximately $3.6 billion in cash to fund ongoing losses and acquisitions.

Comments are closed.