In February of final 12 months, when controversy erupted over Joe Rogan’s racially charged language and COVID-related incorrect information in a couple of editions of his Spotify podcast, the streaming massive’s CEO attempted to calm the placement through apologizing to his affected staff and pledging a $100 million “license”. and creating and advertising and marketing tune (artists and songwriters) and audio content material from traditionally marginalized teams.”
Virtually 14 months later, the $100 million Authors’ Fairness Fund has spent lower than 10% of its investment at the paintings, consistent with a document in bloomberg. The document, mentioning unnamed other people acquainted with the trouble, mentioned the initiative used to be in the back of time table in hiring 8 team of workers to supervise the challenge and “suffered from transferring priorities.” Initially of this 12 months, the fund had no longer finished its 2023 price range and had no longer known its precedence initiatives, consistent with a memo the newsletter mentioned it received. Every other fund aimed toward selling range in podcasts additionally struggled after that trade took a success. Layoffs final 12 months, the union representing employees mentioned.
The $100 million used to be designed for use over 3 years, consistent with Bloomberg’s assets, however the streaming carrier lacked a well-organized and transparent device for vetting and approving initiatives or allocating price range. Concepts were put ahead however frequently no longer accredited.
A Spotify consultant declined to touch upon particular spending numbers for the fairness fund, however mentioned it has supported quite a lot of tasks in its first 12 months, together with “Glow,” which highlights tune through LGBTQ artists, and Nailing It, a podcast hosted through 3 black girls. It additionally just lately introduced an expanded partnership with Spelman Faculty, a college for traditionally black girls in Atlanta.
“The Spotify Writer Fairness Fund is devoted to a number of tasks that assist carry and improve the inclusive and various crew of artists and creators at the platform,” the spokesperson wrote in an e-mail remark. “We’re ready to empower and lift the profile of underrepresented voices all over the world.”
name him numerous, A Spotify rep declined to remark, however didn’t dispute the ideas within the document.
The $100 million determine used to be noticed as symbolic, as Rogan’s handle Spotify – the sector’s greatest paid tune subscription carrier – used to be considered round that quantity, but it surely used to be later reported to be over $200 million. The transfer used to be additionally noticed through some as a cynical and imprecise try to defuse the placement, particularly after the corporate spent $300 million on a sponsorship deal for FC Barcelona simply weeks later.
On the time of the announcement, in a February 2022 letter to staff, CEO Daniel Eck, who has come beneath hearth from critics outside and inside the corporate for her partnership with Rogan, mentioned he used to be “deeply sorry” about how the podcast host controversy affected them. However after the corporate got rid of the former 70 episode “The Joe Rogan Revel in” amid Rogan’s use of the N-word and racially charged language a number of instances on his display, Ek indicated that Spotify did not plan to finish its podcast distribution deal, which it persevered.
“I do not believe silencing Joe is the solution… canceling votes is a slippery slope,” he wrote in a Sunday observe received through Selection. “If we imagine in having an open platform as a core corporate price, then we should additionally imagine in uplifting all sorts of content material creators, together with the ones from underrepresented communities and a number of backgrounds.”
Rogan has been a arguable determine since Spotify signed its unique handle him in 2020, because of his friendliness with a number of right-wing personalities he hosted on “The Joe Rogan Revel in.”