Why are people leaving Spotify? Here's what you need to know about the streaming service's dilemma

It's all thanks to 'The Joe Rogan Experience'

phone with spotify on the screen
(Image credit: Gabby Jones/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Why are people leaving Spotify? Subscribers, musicians and podcasters are all boycotting the streaming service, prompting breaking news alerts and turmoil.

Though the likes of Spotify's Only You feature and the beloved annual Spotify Wrapped are crowd pleasers, “The Joe Rogan Experience” has skewed people’s views of the app entirely—here’s why. 

Why are people leaving Spotify? 

Rogan, a 54-year-old comedian, MMA fighter and controversial podcaster has continually spread lies and misinformation about the Covid-19 vaccine on his platform. (“The Joe Rogan Experience” is a Spotify exclusive and the app’s top podcast. The company acquired the show in 2020 for more than $100 million.) 

Rogan has been encouraging healthy adults not to get the Covid-19 vaccine and has promoted his use of ivermectin—an anti-parasite typically reserved for large animals like horses and cows, according to the FDA—in his personal fight with the virus. 

His problematic stances have caused artists like Joni Mitchell and Neil Young to pull their catalogues from Spotify, and other industry heavyweights like Taylor Swift are reportedly being encouraged to follow suit.  

What’s more concerning is the fact that a team of medical professionals—physicians, immunologists, medical writers and nurses, to name just a few—penned an open letter to Spotify noting the dangers of Rogan’s statements and guests, namely Dr. Robert Malone, who spreads conspiracy theories about the virus and has been suspended from Twitter as a result. 

“This is not only a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to thrive on its platform,” part of the statement read.

What happened with Joe Rogan and Spotify?

Despite the public's concerns, Spotify does not plan to cancel Rogan’s show. However, founder Daniel Ek noted that Spotify is working to create a Covid-19 content advisory for applicable material. 

“It is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them,” Ek said in a statement.  

In response to the backlash, Rogan has released a statement of his own on his social media channels. 

“I’m going to do my best, but my point of doing this is always just to create interesting conversations, and ones that I hope people enjoy,” he said in a video on Instagram. “So if I piss you off, I’m sorry and if you enjoyed the podcast, thank you.”

How to delete Spotify account

Those looking to delete their Spotify account, particularly Premium members, will not be able to do so from a smartphone. They’ll have to head online to Spotify.com/account and click “change plan” to proceed with the cancellation. 

Do note that you’ll lose access to exclusive content and potentially to some of Spotify’s early-access sales for concert tickets, according to CNBC. Spotify’s support website will assist with any queries. 

Should you have any questions or concerns about the Covid-19 vaccine and treatment, always consult a medical professional. 

Danielle Valente
Digital News Writer

Need a TV show recommendation? Maybe a few decor tips? Danielle, a digital news writer at Future, has you covered. Her work appears throughout the company’s lifestyle brands, including My Imperfect Life, Real Homes, and woman&home. Mainly, her time is spent at My Imperfect Life, where she’s attuned to the latest entertainment trends and dating advice for Gen Z.

Before her time at Future, Danielle was the editor of Time Out New York Kids, where she got to experience the best of the city from the point of view of its littlest residents. Before that, she was a news editor at Elite Daily. Her work has also appeared in Domino, Chowhound, and amNewYork, to name a few. 

When Danielle’s not writing, you can find her testing out a new recipe, reading a book (suggestions always welcome), or rearranging the furniture in her apartment…again.