SPOTIFY CENSORS KEY ‘JOE ROGAN’ EPISODES AFTER $100M DEAL

On Tuesday, streaming service Spotify began its exclusive agreement with podcaster Joe Rogan, but outraged fans noticed several episodes missing from the alleged complete list of shows. Those episodes mysteriously nearly all featured popular and influential conservative commentators who’ve been mostly censored from the mainstream internet. 

Fans were quick to take to social media and point out that some of Rogan’s most memorable and iconic episodes were missing from Spotify, even thought they’d previously been allowed on YouTube, Rogan’s former platform. Those episodes included interviews with Gavin McInnes, Milo Yiannopoulos, Alex Jones, Owen Benjamin, Stefan Molyneaux, and Sargon of Akkad. 

Mikhaila Peterson, the 28-year-old daughter of Jordan Peterson who blogs about health, also claimed her episode had been removed from the new, cleaned-up canon of content.

In July, Rogan announced he signed an exclusive licensing deal with Spotify to move his top-rated podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, from YouTube to the subscriber streaming service for a reported $100 million, according to Billboard

Rogan launched his podcast in December 2009 and today it is often rated the top podcast in the world. Both Spotify and Rogan tweeted announcements Tuesday that all episodes of the JRE were now live and free on the platform—but some were missing, according to fans. Neither Rogan nor Spotify addressed the censored content, leaving many fans agitated, but not surprised given many people’s exasperation with Silicon Valley censorship and lawmakers’ unwillingness to address it. 

Legal expert Robert Barnes tweeted, “@joerogan led a lot of people to believe he would not be censored by @spotify, that helped boost Spotify‘s stock value & Spotify subscriptions. Can those people sue now that those promises turned out to be a lie?” Another user asked, “you really gonna let @Spotify pick and choose which shows to upload? Wack.”

Spotify’s value has fluctuated greatly in recent years, reaching as high as $43 billion, according to Digital Music News when Google was in talks of purchasing the company in cash. In 2018, SEC documents show exactly 65 percent of Spotify was owned by just six parties: the firm’s co-founders, Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon (30.6 percent of ordinary shares between them); Tencent Holdings Ltd. (9.1 percent); and a run of three asset-management specialists: Baillie Gifford (11.8 percent), Morgan Stanley (7.3 percent), and T.Rowe Price Associates (6.2 percent), according to Rolling Stone.  

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