Just this past month, Joe Rogan decided to live on the edge for his podcast — or at least he did so in the eyes of Spotify, who just last month demanded editorial oversight over the podcast.
Earlier this year, Rogan cut a $100 million deal with Spotify. Alex Jones, on the other hand, was recently banned from the Spotify platform in October. When Spotify’s higher-ups received word that Rogan had invited him to be a guest on the podcast, they refused to remove the interview, even though activist employees put out heavy demands.
Not long after, something mysterious occurred.
The podcast had been completely wiped from the Spotify platform and links to share the podcast were broken. Suspicions were raised, especially by Rogan, though the takedown was immediately dismissed as accidental.
After many fans sounded the alarms, Rogan quipped,
“The conspiracy about the show with the conspiracy theorist.”
Rogan continued, “The episode that was uploaded to Spotify had some cache issues, and it wasn’t working correctly on some devices, so the engineers had Jamie re-upload it with the same date, thinking it would fix the problem but still play for everyone like it was never missing.”
The explanation detailing issues with the cache seemed to be fairly reasonable, though there was one simple issue. As far as most people know, there has never been another Spotify podcast with a ‘cache problem’. Of course, notoriously speculative Joe Rogan fans were not buying it.
Now, two Spotify sources came out and confirmed that one of the employees was responsible for removing the episode with Alex Jones, though the name of the employee was not released to the public.
One sourced confirmed that “this [removal was] definitely no accident,” while further noting that “[the evidence] is in the logs.”
Spotify engineers began troubleshooting the problem and worked to replace the master file quickly, making Rogan and Jamie (Rogan’s assistant) aware of the issue.
What is important to note about this issue is that Rogan was given a ton of “technical mumbo jumbo” regarding the deletion of the episode to throw off the scent of foul play. Other internal sources are saying that Spotify is not looking to pursue the issue with that particular employee, as Joe Rogan’s content is particularly touchy within the bounds of the company as it is.
Earlier in the year, many employees at Spotify demanded that other episodes be removed from the platform. The main focus for this demand was an interview with Abigail Shrier, which many deemed to be transphobic. The interview is currently live on Spotify.
Before that, Spotify took out a few of the older Joe Rogan Experience episodes during the Spotify migration process, including Rogan’s first interview with Alex Jones.
A group of activist Spotify employees from New York made threats to leave the company if they were not given editorial oversight over the Joe Rogan Experience. Executives at Spotify fought back and, as far as the public knows, no strikes ever took place.
This story is still in development.