(Adds Ostroff quote, details on Rogan backlash)
By Elizabeth Culliford
Feb 9 (Reuters) – Spotify’s chief content officer Dawn Ostroff told advertisers at a conference on Wednesday that the backlash around popular U.S. podcaster Joe Rogan’s podcast had been a “real learning experience” for the streaming service.
“We do feel that we have a responsibility to support creator expression, but also balance that creator expression with safety for our users and for our advertisers,” said Ostroff, who has been a key driver in Spotify’s work to turn the platform into a top podcast hub, speaking at an Interactive Advertising Bureau annual conference in New York.
The streaming giant has been under fire after Rogan, who signed a $100-million deal with Spotify in 2020, aired controversial COVID-19 views on his show and drew protests from artists Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and India Arie. Young said Spotify had “become the home of life threatening COVID misinformation.”
Last week, Rogan apologized and Spotify said it would add a content advisory to any podcast episodes on its platform with discussion of the virus. On Saturday, Rogan apologized again for using racial slurs after a montage video surfaced showing him repeatedly saying the N-word. (Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford Editing by Nick Zieminski)