Spotify shares rebound after Joe Rogan’s apology and Citigroup’s upgrade

Jan 31 (Reuters) – U.S. podcaster Joe Rogan has apologized and pledged more balance on his show amid a backlash against coronavirus misinformation about the streaming service that wiped out more than $2 billion from its market value last week.

On Monday, investors appeared to ignore the controversy that hurt stocks last week, as Spotify’s share price jumped 12% after brokerage Citigroup upgraded the stock to “buy” from “neutral” and said the Swedish firm would be able to improve its advertising business. .

Spotify said it will add a file Content Consultant To any episode with the COVID discussion to try to quell the controversy, a first step in the field of content editing that other tech platforms have found difficult and expensive.

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Rogan’s show, The Joe Rogan Experience, has been the most listened-to podcast on Spotify and is central to his plan to expand beyond music and outsmart competitors like Apple. (AAPL.O) and Amazon.com for a share of the audio streaming market.

Joe Rogan in attendance at UFC 249 in Jacksonville, Florida. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Within 10 minutes Instagram video sharing On Sunday evening, Rogan apologized to Spotify for the backlash but defended the invitation to the controversial guests.

“If I offended you, I’m sorry,” Rogan said. “I will do everything in my power to try to balance these more controversial views with those of others so that we can find a better point of view.”

Rogan is a prominent vaccine skeptic, and his views on vaccines and government mandates to control the spread of the virus alienate prominent singer-songwriters Neil Young To guitarist Niels Lofgren To US bestselling professor and author Brian Brown.

Singer and songwriter Joni Mitchell She also requested that her music be removed from Spotify, citing a letter from hundreds of medical professionals urging the platform to stop Rogan from spreading lies about the pandemic.

Spotify, which announces its quarterly earnings on Wednesday, has spent billions building its podcast business and currently has more than 3 million titles on its platform. Although she has an exclusive license to distribute the podcast, Rogan himself owns the show.

The Spotify logo is displayed on a screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, May 3, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

According to the company, it reviewed the episodes and determined that they did not meet the removal threshold.

Spotify CEO Daniel Eck said late Sunday that he may disagree with the opinions of some individuals on the platform, but “it is important to me that we do not take the position of censoring content.”

Its new policies include adding advice to any pandemic-related podcast that will direct listeners to the COVID-19 Center that contains information from medical and health experts, as well as links to trusted sources.

But the job of curating the content they’ve been dragged into is now very different from removing copyright infringing songs, a task Spotify is familiar with.

Broadcast moderation

Social media giants Facebook (FB.O)alphabet (GOOGL.O) YouTube and Twitter (TWTR.N) They have struggled to balance freedom of expression rights and mitigate harmful content on their platforms amid intense regulatory scrutiny. Tech companies have invested in human content brokers as well as artificial intelligence technology over the past few years.

Under increasing pressure to monitor false content on their platforms, these companies have tightened their rules on vaccine misinformation. Youtube last week Dan Bongeno banned from Fox News For making rule-breaking statements about the effectiveness of masks in stopping the spread of COVID. Read more

Podcasts, which researchers said can be a powerful conduit for disinformation due to their reach and the intimacy they create with listeners, often received less scrutiny over content moderation decisions than social media platforms.

Challenges Audio monitoring and analysiscombined with the open nature of the podcast ecosystem, has also complicated moderation. Read more

Recent research by the Brookings Institution shows how misinformation about voter fraud was pushed into podcasts prior to the Capitol riots on January 6, 2021, including the podcast “War Room” by Steve Bannon, which was removed from Spotify in 2020 but Available on Apple and Google.

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Additional reporting by Helen Koster and Elizabeth Culliford in New York and Subanta Mukherjee in Stockholm; Additional reporting by Akriti Sharma, Shubham Kalia and Shivani Tana in Bengaluru; Editing by Kevin Levy and Lisa Schumaker

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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