Brené Brown says she’s pausing her Spotify-exclusive podcast


Spotify may have to deal with more than musicians leaving its platform. Author and researcher Brené Brown has on break releases of his Spotify-exclusive podcasts Unlock us and dare to lead “until further notice.” Brown did not explain the decision, but it came shortly after Neil Young and Joni Mitchell said they would remove their music from Spotify to protest allegations that Joe Rogan promoted misinformation on COVID-19.

We asked Spotify for comment. The move came amid growing criticism of Spotify over its handling of Rogan and misinformation, with the UK’s Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle (who themselves have a Spotify deal) expressing “concerns” over the streaming service approach. The couple’s Archewell Foundation said “hundreds of millions” of people are hurt by misinformation every day and hope Spotify will “meet this moment” and make the appropriate changes. The pair added that they have been sharing their concerns with Spotify since April 2021.

Spotify previously said it was aiming to strike a balance between listener safety and creator freedom, after removing more than 20,000 COVID-related podcast episodes in line with its policies. CEO Daniel Ek has argued that Spotify shouldn’t have editorial responsibility for podcasts.

If Brown’s decision is in response to Rogan, it could put Spotify in an even tougher position. The company is believed to have paid over $100 million to sign Rogan for a multi-year exclusive and enjoyed his success (his podcast still tops the US charts). However, this arrangement could prove costly if enough listeners leave, especially those who stick around for exclusive podcasts like Brown’s. It might not be worth sticking with one star if Spotify ultimately bleeds too much talent and money.


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