The battle between artistic expression and commercialization is one that's probably existed since the first caveman got offered a mastodon thigh for a wall painting. The idea of "selling out" is something that people who've established their careers on saying whatever they think shudder at the thought of. Which is why it was such big news when Joe Rogan inked a deal with Spotify, and people are now reporting some of his podcast episodes are missing.
Which of Joe Rogan's podcast episodes are missing from Spotify?
Spotify's the biggest name in streaming, and when it comes to podcasts, there's no one more influential than Joe Rogan, but it still came as a shock to many that the comedian inked a $100 million exclusivity deal with the service, which began on Sept. 1, 2020. Leading up to that date, Joe had stated that the company was very hands-off and didn't meddle too much with his podcast structure, with the only question they had being which guest he planned to bring on for an upcoming episode.
While $100 million seems like a lot of money, Spotify can more than earn that cash back by getting/retaining 2 million subscribers, and the company's on track to earn well over $8 billion in 2020. So, they could also afford to be a bit more hands-off when it comes to their approach with Rogan's podcast, right?
While they don't seem to be messing with the UFC commentator's newer episodes, there seems to have been some changes.
Namely for the podcast episodes that are deemed too "controversial" by some listeners. Joe Rogan's been criticized in the past by some for giving platforms to individuals who promote insane conspiracy theories or possess radical and/or offensive viewpoints and it appears that Spotify agrees.
The streaming giant didn't upload episodes featuring Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos, Gavin McInnes, Charles C. Johnson, David Seaman, Owen Benjamin, Tommy Chong, Chris D'Elia, Joey Diaz, and Sargon of Akkad.
It's also worth mentioning that these are just the ones Entertainment Weekly immediately spotted, and with 1,531 podcast episodes to date to his credit, people will probably find more episodes that didn't make the Spotify "cut."
Joe has stated that his podcast's entire library of episodes would be available on the streaming giant back when he first announced the deal.
So, did Spotify intentionally leave these episodes out like so many people believe?
Mikhaila Peterson, daughter of psychologist Jordan Peterson, has also stated that her episode (#1164) wasn't available on Spotify, either, and tweeted that she thought the fact the platform didn't even upload her video was "absolutely ridiculous."
So, is Spotify really "censoring" Joe Rogan? No.
Mikhaila then went on to update her tweet thread, stating that she was told by Alex Jones that Spotify would definitely be uploading their episodes at a later time, and the only reason they were missing was because it was literally the first day of his deal, and not all of the shows were uploaded at once.
UPDATE: Alex Jones says these episodes will be uploaded at a later date and it is not censorship.— Mikhaila Peterson (@MikhailaAleksis) September 1, 2020
Upon checking, Mikhaila found her episode was indeed on Spotify, along with a bunch of the other "missing" episodes. So, don't go and get in a tizzy about "censorship" — all of Joe's episodes are indeed being featured on the streaming service.