Popular author and speaker Brené Brown says she won’t be releasing any new episodes of her Spotify-exclusive podcast “until further notice.” She didn’t give a reason for why, but it comes on the heels of the likes of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulling their catalogues from the streaming behemoth in protest of Joe Rogan’s podcast and some of the views about COVID-19 he has espoused on it.
Back in 2020, Brown made waves when she signed an exclusive, multi-year deal with Spotify for her podcasts. Now, she announced that “I will not be releasing any podcasts until further notice. To our #UnlockingUs and #DaretoLead communities, I’m sorry and I’ll let you know if and when that changes.”
Spotify has faced growing criticism for hosting The Joe Rogan Experience, which has shared what many consider to be misinformation about COVID-19 and the effectiveness of vaccines. Young told Spotify they could either have him or Rogan but not both, and Spotify went with Rogan. Folk legend Mitchell soon followed, saying she made the move “in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities.” Such criticism has also sparked a renewed focus on Spotify’s paltry payments to artists.
Is Brown’s podcast moratorium part of the same movement? It’s unclear. Brown has been in favor of vaccines and criticized the Texas state government for forbidding schools from issuing mask mandates, but her public announcement offered Spotify no terms and made no mention of the controversy.
Will Spotify buckle under the mounting pressure? Its market capitalization tumbled by more than two billion dollars in three days, but it has said that none of Rogan’s podcasts meet the criteria for removal so it appears their $100 million deal with Rogan isn’t going anywhere for now.