Joe Rogan is bigger than Spotify
The streaming giant is right to stand by its star podcaster
For long-time listeners of The Joe Rogan Experience, our host’s transformation from an amiable, foul-mouthed, weed-fuelled comedian whose podcast was sponsored by a masturbation aid to one of the most prominent voices of our time has been strange to see. His confidence, curiosity and cheerful disinterest in whether or not he might offend someone is a perfect fit for our time. JRE has become not simply a podcast but a one-man media giant (well, two men if you count Jamie the producer).
Given that I have probably heard Joe Rogan’s voice more than anyone’s outside of my family and friends, of course there are elements of his work and style that annoy me. Does he not realise that some of his LA comedian friends are as funny as a bout of gastroenteritis? Does he have to bang on about “regular jobs” when most of his audience listens to him to fill the long, dull hours at their regular jobs? Does anyone care about DMT?
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So, I am very open to criticisms of Joe Rogan’s choice of guests and questions. With millions of listeners comes moral and intellectual responsibility, and there have been worthwhile responses to his Covid vaccine scepticism (some of them on his own show).
What I am less open to is the kind of person whose instinctive response to hearing opinions they disagree with is to want them silenced.
An open letter signed by ‘270 experts’ called on Spotify, Rogan’s platform provider, to ‘immediately establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation.; These experts included a podcaster, a dentist, a psychologist, a sleep trainer, a “workplace wellness consultant” and a vet.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have since made it their business to get involved and tell the media that they had been “expressing concerns to [their] partners at Spotify about the all too real consequences of Covid misinformation on its platform.” Their partners? Ah, yes. In 2020 the pair signed a multi-year deal worth $25 million with the streaming giant. So far it has yielded a single podcast episode. Often, though not always, the people most interested in moderating other people’s creative output are the people who are least capable of creativity.
You can’t silence Joe Rogan, of course. He had the biggest podcast in the world before he went to Spotify and he would have the biggest podcast in the world if he had to leave. Indeed, if it means that he can keep the $100 million they signed him for and escape their grousing employees, it might be a good deal for him.
Joe Rogan is an institution now: he is bigger than Spotify, Neil Young and even Harry and Meghan. It is JRE’s unfiltered nature and authenticity that make him so appealing in a world of greasy scolds — his more censorious critics could learn something.
I think the article and some of the commentators have been a bit harsh on H&M. They, are of course, experts on Corona, and sometimes one must make a stand, do more than “expressing concerns” when more moral clarity is required.
I personally was in negotiations with NETFLIX for a multi-year mini-series on my masterpiece Finnegans Wake. It was to have been a ten, or even twenty year miniseries that would dwarf (Sorry, Peter) all that came before it.
I was about to ink the deal–can’t disclose the exact terms but north of $100mm–and then I realized that some years ago, there was a movie on NETFLIX that I didn’t like. Fortunately I remembered that before I put pen to paper. How could I allow my work to appear on a service that once had a movie I didn’t like, where I disagreed with some real or imagined political point? How could NETFLIX even negotiate with me in good faith knowing that I didn’t like that film? The horror!
Kudos to all the brave woke– H&M, Neil Young, and all the rest doing so much to protect me from ideas they disagree with. Well done!
“Dr. Strangelove: A Continuity Transcript … (after he launched a massive nuclear strike on USSR)
“God willing, we will prevail in peace and freedom from fear and in true health through the purity and essence of our natural fluids. God bless you all.” Then he hung up. We’re still trying to figure out the meaning of that last phrase, sir.”
Thank God people are willing to sacrifice all for our purity of essence, and I believe Neil Young is right in doing this for us.
“I’m not saying we wouldn’t get our hair mussed. But 10-20 million dead tops…..”
As Neil would say – it is worth the price, if it helps us maintain our purity of essence
It is JRE’s unfiltered nature and authenticity that make him so appealing in a world of greasy scolds
Completely agree – it is the unfiltered nature of the podcasts that make them enjoyable. It is like listening to a conversation in a pub but where one person has (sometimes) done a bit of preparation. Like a pub conversation, it is sometimes funny, sometimes enlightening, often dull. But it is infinitely preferable to the traditional broadcasts where a talking head promulgates an “approved” opinion which has been signed-off by the producer.
Unfortunately, this article has not aged well. Rogan just issued a climbdown, of sorts. Effectively agreeing to having his episodes content-labelled by Spotify, and agreeing to having moderation affect his choice of guests. He certainly had a 100 million reasons to back down; I can’t really say I blame him.
Read his statement here:
Hello Friends · The Joe Rogan Experience (spotify.com)
Never apologize, never explain.
I said it. I meant it. I stand behind it!
That’s a bit of a shame. I was hoping he would just ignore his critics.
Me too. Oh, sorry, I meant to say #metoo
It’s hardly a climbdown. He vowed to continue to speak with people who have a diversity of opinions. It was barely even an apology. (“Sorry if I pissed you off”)
He explained his position and spoke up for a diversity of viewpoints. +1 to Rogan in my opinion.
Perhaps you’re right. The way I read it, though, was that he accepts the principle of having health warnings attached to his episodes, and he has agreed to ‘balance’ opinions by inviting different kinds of guests with mainstream views. That latter one is a big deal.
Time will tell but my instincts are that the wokesters won’t be content until they have hunted Rogan into submission or driven him off any major platform. He’s a marked man now, and conceding even a little bit will only spur them on.
I actually thought Spotify’s statement that they would consider attaching some kind of health information warning to some of his shows, was proper. Just like you see on ads selling a fitness system. A “check with your doctor, first!” kind of thing.
But you are absolutely right that no matter what Rogan or anyone does, it will never appease the fanatical woke left. Smelling blood in the water it will just further encourage them.
Yeah, the health information warning was less worrying than Rogan’s agreeing to ‘balance’ views.
How that plays out in practice is another question. Maybe Rogan is slicker than we think, and can simply ‘keep on podcastin’ in a free world’? Let’s see…
A “health warning” is likely to enhance his appeal I would think.
Kindly see my post above….
I’ve watched it now. Yes he did it very nicely, A “sorry, not sorry” as my daughter puts it.
On the other hand, Joe seems to be playing the game well…
Rogan totally surrendered to the woke mob. What a wimp.
The nail that stuck out has been put back in its place. Life is so boring!
I would have thought – mere days after reports that Spotify was hiring professionals to help with their non-podcast – that H & M would remain silent. But discretion isn’t in their vocabulary.
In Mr & Mrs Markle’s dictionary in place of the word discretion it has the word publicity
$25 million to NOT make podcasts? I would have signed with Spotify to NOT make podcasts for a fraction of that. And I would guarantee there to be no misinformation in my non-podcasts.
Lennon, i think you only get offered those deals if you marry a minor royal, but i have some good news, Prince Andrew has cleared his diary for the foreseeable future
Meghan and Harry are publicity seeking, money groveling & just downright boring. They give new meaning to the word ‘entitled’.
Never listened to JRE, but the response from Ginge & Whinge tell me all I need to know.
Same. I never listen to podcasts but this whole thing makes me want to seek out Rogan…because I’m curious, but also because I can see who is objecting to this and I want to be contrary!
For the record, I am absolutely pro-vax…but I don’t need protecting from vaccine-sceptical views!
Indeed. I’ve only heard about some of the best podcasters i’ve got on my list because the “Progressivez” were whinging about them. Keep up the good work, chaps!
I don’t know that Rogan is anti-vax… is he? I have watched quite a few of his podcasts and he just asks questions. He might be anti Covid vax, but not anti-vax. Big difference.
He refused to vax – so he is not pro vax as it is done
Katharine- you remain totally pro vax because you did not listen to the interviews in question – and you must if you wish to understand what the last 2 years were
Then the second is there, with Dr Malone – a must watch….
Triggernometry can be very good as well. Long interviews with interesting people. Who would have thought that this could work.
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know who’s been gone ’til they tweet?
They paved a career
But that was in ’68.
Put away that RNA now
Don’t care ’bout tasting my apples
Leave my immun-i-t-eee, ple-e-eaaase*.
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know who’s been gone ’til they tweet?
They paved a career
But that was in ’68.
Late last night, I heard Joe Rogan jam
With a big anti-vaxxer
Who took away Klaus Schwab’s plan
How utterly hypocritical for these ancient and bygone artists to boycott Spotify for allowing someone to espouse opinions that allegedly might harm someone, yet have no problem with allowing extremely graphic and truly damaging rap music to continue unabated on the same platform.
Covid discussions are going the way of Gender discussions. Some people just do not want to hear an open and honest debate about these issues. The only people benefiting from such controversies are lawyers.
Some people are saying Spotify is now a Media organisation and should moderate it’s content, but I think this is just a tactic to try and swap them in red tape. There are plenty of BBC talk shows (J Vine, etc) and they give out all kinds of biased opinions on topics.
H&M complaining to Spotify about misinformation is just about the most perfect irony I can think of.
Katharine, you are one of the very bright posters here – this recent Ron Johnson, USA Senator, doing an official Senate hearing on the Vaccine, 5 hours long, is Amazing. It is also buried more and more by the searches – but still Youtube has not deleted it, a Must Watch
Watch it to get the other side, all the doctors Rogan interviewed to get such hate are main members of this Senate hearing. It is *****, 5 Stars.
I like Joe Rogan a great deal for the pure fact that he’s an ordinary but very curious, eager guy happy to have interesting people to converse with and bounce ideas off of. He’s contradictory, complex, has a few areas of expertise and a wide interest in others, deep and superficial – just like ordinary people. His lack of filtering every utterance for partisan purity is part of what makes him so enormously popular, such a breath of fresh air.
About his and his Covid guests’ ramblings: why can’t he just be wrong, rather than “bad”? Why must he be hated, defamed, excommunicated? Why can’t he just be given the assumption of being a decent guy who got a hold of some bad facts?
Why couldn’t Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have tapped into their flower children roots and just had a nice chat with him asking that he double-check his Covid data, lest someone get hurt and his karma go bad?
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