Spotify’s Joe Rogan controversy and things more important than that

I see a lot of takes on Twitter along the lines of “while you were going on about Joe Rogan and Spotify, happened.”

But the thing about Spotify is that they are a pretty replaceable service. It’s easy for us to stop giving Spotify money if we decide we don’t like that Spotify is giving a hundred million dollars of our money to Joe Rogan. We can replace Spotify with another good streaming service, and if we were using Spotify for podcasts, we can replace Spotify with one of a number of great independent podcast players.

We can’t individually put Spotify out of business but as individuals, we can cost them hundreds of dollars in lost revenue over the course of the next five years, and we can cost Spotify the network effects of us being on there, making Spotify less attractive to our friends who wanted to share tracks with us. And if we keep the conversation going, Spotify might feel the heat as their market cap shrinks considerably. And ultimately, maybe that will make Spotify think twice about its attempt to own podcasting by acquiring talent.

Joe Rogan isn’t the only issue facing the world right now, but for a lot of Spotify users, Joe Rogan was an issue that they were empowered to do something material about.

That’s kind of a rare feeling, and I bet it felt good.


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