• Joe Rogan, who has a $100 million deal with Spotify, and attracts 11 million listeners to each episode of his podcast, is still battling a misinformation saga
  • Rogan has since the beginning of this year been accused of spreading quack theories about COVID-19 and promoting dangerously misleading scientists
  • Rogan insists that he is simply contributing to legitimate debate, but the saga has been damaging, with many musicians abandoning the platform
  • On Tuesday CNN reported that traffic to Spotify’s Premium cancellation page – ending their $9.99 a month ad-free service – tripled in a week
  • Spotify executives are standing by Rogan, but are likely to be bracing for even more cancellations after the broadcaster was found to have used racial slurs
  • On Tuesday night Rogan was on stage in Texas and apologized for his previous language, but urged people not to take his advice on science 


PUBLISHED: 11:23 AEDT, 10 February 2022 | UPDATED: 11:25 AEDT, 10 February 2022

Traffic to Spotify‘s cancellation page nearly tripled in the last week of January as the audio platform struggled to deal with the controversy around its superstar podcaster Joe Rogan.

Rogan, whose podcast is the most listened to on the streaming service, drawing 11 million listeners per episode, sparked a firestorm of criticism for his controversial views on the COVID-19 vaccine.

The groundswell of criticism surged after he hosted two vaccine sceptic scientists in mid and late December, and a host of famous faces such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell announced they were taking their music off the site in protest.

The analytics firm, SimilarWeb, told CNN on Tuesday night that it had seen traffic to the cancellation page spike 196 percent week-over-week in its most recent set of data.

The data looked at traffic on the week of January 17, and compared it to the week beginning January 24.

In the week of the 17th, 39,924 visits to the page were recorded. The following week, 118,168 visits – almost three times as many – were recorded.

‘This is a huge spike,’ said Seema Shah, who leads SimilarWeb’s research team, describing it as unprecedented.

‘It implies people were passionate about the issue and took immediate action. We’ll see if it keeps rising.’

Embattled Spotify podcaster Joe Rogan addressed his COVID misinformation controversy during a comedy set in Texas Tuesday, saying that listeners should take his words with a grain of salt because he ‘talks sh*t for a living’

Spotify's monthly ad-free subscriptions range from $9.99 to $15.99 a month

Spotify’s monthly ad-free subscriptions range from $9.99 to $15.99 a month

Spotify signed a $100 million contract with Rogan to exclusively host his podcast

Spotify signed a $100 million contract with Rogan to exclusively host his podcast

Spotify users pay $9.99 for a single Premium subscription, which plays music and podcasts without adverts, and $15.99 for a family subscription. It can also be accessed for free, but with ads and without the ability to store playlists you have made. 

Spotify executives will likely expect the cancellations to continue, amid fresh revelations of Rogan’s behavior.