- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 28, 2022

Spotify‘s subscriber numbers have remained strong, even though some artists have left the streaming service over podcast host Joe Rogan.

Spotify has 182 million premium subscribers — 2 million more than last quarter and 15% higher year over year, according to the company’s financial report. That metric includes the loss of about 1.5 million accounts from Russia.

Spotify’s total revenue is up 24% over last year, and the company saw a 19% increase to 422 million monthly active users, 1 million more than projected, the report said. 

“Excluding the impact of our exit from Russia, subscriber growth exceeded expectations. Overall, we are very pleased with the performance of the business and remain highly encouraged by the traction we are seeing,” Spotify said. 

The company removed more than 70 episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience” — the platform’s most popular podcast — in February after videos of Mr. Rogan using racial slurs circulated across social media, according to Variety.  

“Some of Joe Rogan‘s comments [are] incredibly hurtful — I want to make clear that they do not represent the values of this company,” CEO Daniel Ek wrote in a memo to employees in February, CNET reported

Mr. Rogan also received more criticism for spreading misinformation about COVID. 

Some artists, including Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Ava DuVernay, took their content off Spotify after the platform refused to cut ties with Mr. Rogan

Spotify represents 60% of the streaming of my music to listeners around the world. Yet my [record label] stood with me, recognizing the threat the COVID misinformation on Spotify posed to the world — particularly for our young people who think everything they hear on Spotify is true,” Mr. Young wrote on his website.

• Peter Santo can be reached at psanto@washingtontimes.com.

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