Spotify listens to Prince Harry and Meghan, to add 'advisory' for Joe Rogan-like podcasts

After weeks of criticism by several podcasters and a very recent one by Harry and Meghan Markle, Spotify agrees to revaluate its policies


                            Spotify listens to Prince Harry and Meghan, to add 'advisory' for Joe Rogan-like podcasts
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have hit out at Spotify for hosting content with 'Covid misinformation' (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images,)
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Hours after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle expressed concerns over the pandemic-related misinformation shared on Spotify by anti-vaxxer and star podcasters like Joe Rogan, Spotify has agreed to add ‘content advisories’ to all episodes related to Covid in an effort to curb the spread of misinformation.

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are partnered with Spotify in a $25 million deal. The streaming giant revealed that the couple indeed reached out to “express concerns” about Rogan’s podcast. Rogan hosted the controversial Dr Robert Malone on episode #1757 of The Joe Rogan Experience last month. The veteran scientist, who was a part of the team that invented the mRNA technology used in the Covid-19 jab, said pharmaceutical companies administering vaccines had "financial conflicts of interest." He also compared the status quo in the US to Nazi Germany and alleged that society was suffering a "mass formation psychosis" over the use of vaccines.

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Spotify has been facing heat for a few weeks now, with an exodus of several star musicians like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and Bruce Springsteen guitarist Nils Lofgren. And rumors of others leaving leaving the platform are also gaining ground. Singer and songwriter Young after leaving Spotify tried to send listeners toward Amazon Music by offering a free four-month subscription to its new users.  Podcaster Brené Brown also shared her decision of “pausing” her channel while Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl is rumored to be leaving the platform.  

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Singer/songwriter Neil Young performs at the Dolby Theatre on March 29, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Following Young's protest against Spotify, the royal duo also showed their displeasure over the said exodus of talent. A spokesperson for the Archewell foundation expressed the duo’s real concerns regarding the platform, he said "Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of rampant mis- and disinformation every day. Last April, our co-founders began expressing concerns to our partners at Spotify about the all too real consequences of COVID-19 misinformation on its platform."

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So the question is will Harry and Meghan be ending their deal with SPotify? This was clarified soon enough. The spokesperson also explained how despite the present concerns of Prince Harry and Meghan, they are still determined to continue to work with the company. "We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis. We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does,” added the spokesperson.

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Prince Harry whispers to Meghan Markle as they watch a dance performance by Jukebox Collective in the banqueting hall during a visit to Cardiff Castle on January 18, 2018 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Ben Birchall - WPA Pool / Getty Images)

Spotify’s announcement mentioned the pressure it faced in the recent weeks that brought about the change in policies. The company has lost $4 billion of its value thus far in 2022, losing 25 percent of its stock value last week. Spotify said that it would not take on the position to censor the content but will enforce rules and dish-out consequences for those who will ignore them. Spotify's CEO Daniel EK in a statement on the website shared, "...We have had rules in place for many years but admittedly, we haven’t been transparent around the policies that guide our content more broadly. This, in turn, led to questions around their application to serious issues including COVID-19. Based on the feedback over the last several weeks, it’s become clear to me that we have an obligation to do more to provide balance and access to widely-accepted information from the medical and scientific communities guiding us through this unprecedented time...".

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Among the steps they will be taking they mentioned is that," We are working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19. This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources. This new effort to combat misinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days."

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Disclaimer : This is based on sources and we have been unable to verify this information independently.