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April 13, 2023
In the midst of the controversy surrounding Joe Rogan and his podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience,” the Obamas are apparently looking for a new streaming platform for their podcast.
They evidently are frustrated with how slowly things are developing at Spotify in how the platform is dealing with the backlash.
Three different podcast industry sources reported that former President Barack Obama, 60, and his wife and former First Lady Michelle, 58, are looking into new deals with other companies.
The pair’s Higher Ground Audio company had signed a three-year deal with Spotify in June of 2019, but sources note that it can be difficult to have a show green-lit at the Swedish music streamer. Additionally, the Obamas are reportedly more interested in highlighting “young new voices” as opposed to carrying the shows themselves.
The reports of the former First Family departing from Spotify comes as the streaming service is facing backlash over Joe Rogan, who is the most popular podcaster on the entire platform, over what some claim is his perpetuation of COVID-19 misinformation.
Late in January, folk singer Neil Young wrote an open letter to Spotify in which he said he wanted his music taken off the platform explicitly because of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which he said “is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them.”
Spotify agreed and started pulling Young’s page from the service. Not long after, singer Joni Mitchell demanded that her music be taken off as well.
“The Joe Rogan Experience” is the platform’s highest-rated show, as each episode garners over 10 million listeners each time. Rogan responded to the controversy in an Instagram video posted January 31.
“It’s a strange responsibility to have this many viewers and listeners. It’s nothing that I’ve prepared for. I’m going to do my best to balance things out,” he said. “I’m just a person who sits down and talks to people and has conversations with them. I’m interested in telling the truth and finding out what the truth is.”
ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: VOGUE