Signs of a cultural divide
Managing the crisis in the US is perhaps more complex because Spotify is headquartered nearly 4,000 miles away, in Sweden, where there are Mr. Eck, a publicity-shy executive who grew up in a Stockholm suburb, and many of the company’s longest-serving engineers and employees. in service.
Freedom of expression is a firm belief in Sweden. Many employees there – and in the US – were angry when Spotify removed R. Kelly and XXXTentacion’s music from playlists In 2018 due to content or behavior deemed offensive, the company’s decision quickly reverse.
Mr. Eck has made it clear that he is wary of taking on the role of sergeant. “We don’t dictate the discourse these innovators want to put into their programs,” he told employees earlier this month in a speech. First reported by The Vergeadding that “if we just want to create content that we all love and agree with, we will need to eliminate religion, politics, comedy, health, environment and education, the list goes on and on and on.”
As a matter of business, censoring Mr. Rogan could alienate a large number of his fans and create a slippery precedent with other broadcasters, according to Mark Mulligan, industry analyst at Media Research.
“This could jeopardize the future podcast strategy,” said Mr. Mulligan.
in a Last note to the staff, Mr. Eck wrote that “vote cancellation is a slippery slope” but acknowledged that a number of episodes of Mr. Rogan’s show had been removed from the platform. He wrote that Mr. Rogan had decided to remove them after meetings with Spotify executives and his “own thoughts”.
Katherine Roseman And Ben Cissario reported from New York, Mike Isaac Reported from Oakland, California, and Adam Satariano I reported from London. Contribute to additional reports Nicole Sperling in Los Angeles and Mark Tracy And Jessica Cheung in New York.