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Spotify Reports 180 Mn Paid Subscribers Since the Backlash

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Facing a massive controversy over its star podcaster Joe Rogan, Swedish music streaming company Spotify has reported its fourth-quarter (Q4) results for 2021, taking its paid subscribers to 180 million globally.

Monthly active users on the platform grew by 18 percent (on-year) to reach 406 million.

Advertising represented 15 percent of Spotify’s revenue in the fourth quarter (October-December period), the company said late on Wednesday.

“We’re trying to balance creative expression with the safety of our users, and of course, this is a very complicated issue, said Spotify CEO Daniel Ek over the Rogan controversy that forced several high-profile celebrities to leave the music streaming platform.

The Spotify CEO said that his platform would help audio creators make a living, regardless of their opinions.

He said it was too early to know whether Rogan-spurred cancellations would represent a substantial problem.

Spotify aims to reach 50 million creators who will make money through the platform.

“We want to be the best place for audio creators. We’ve only scratched the surface of the creative potential in audio,” said Ek.

Hit hard by the Joe Rogan controversy, Ek said that the company will now add content advisories to podcast episodes discussing Covid-19.

The advisory will lead to Spotify’s Covid-19 hub, which contains up-to-date information about the pandemic.

The Covid advisory on podcasts comes after popular singers Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren had their music removed from the platform in protest of Rogan’s podcast, where he suggested that healthy young people don’t need the Covid vaccine.

Popular podcaster Brene Brown also said she will take a break from adding new episodes to her Spotify-exclusive shows over the Rogan controversy.

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