Spotify’s quarterly earnings were revealed today, during a particularly tumultuous period for the firm. Its famous podcaster, Joe Rogan, sparked the removal of several bands’ discographies from the platform due to his show’s distribution of false material; Spotify-employed podcasters cried out, and even the White House reacted.
In response to inquiries about the backlash over Rogan’s appearance on the platform, CEO Daniel Ek defended the company’s decision to host, distribute, and monetize the event. Instead, he attempted to reframe the debate as one about free expression, with the goal of making Spotify a platform that can assist all audio creators making a living, regardless of their viewpoints.
“We’re attempting to strike a balance between creative expression and user safety, and this is, of course, a very difficult subject,” he explained. He also said it was too early to say whether Rogan-spurred cancellations would be a significant issue.
He went on to say that he feels “very happy” about the company’s vow to include a COVID-19 statement on any podcast episode that mentions the infection, as well as its public launch of its content control policy.
“I feel they’re suitable for our platform,” he adds, noting that while Rogan is the top podcaster in 90 of the firm’s territories, the company has “something for everyone,” including all advertisers, who are becoming a bigger part of the company’s bottom line.
Monthly active users increased by 18% year over year to 406 million, with 180 million paid customers. Last quarter, advertising accounted for 15% of Spotify’s revenue, prompting Ek to suggest that the team experiment with content windowing rather than entire exclusives in order to reach a wider audience.
According to him, Spotify aspires to reach 50 million producers who will profit from the platform. It will also keep investing in tools, resources, and services to meet their needs.
He stated, “We want to be the best venue for audio makers.” “We’ve merely begun to scrape the surface of audio’s creative potential.”
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