• Spotify is adding content advisory to podcast episodes discussing COVID-19
  • It will also link users to its COVID-19 HUB, a resource with up-to-date pandemic information
  • CEO Daniel Elk said the move is their response to the feedback they’ve been getting from users

Spotify is making a platform-wide change that would see the addition of content warnings before podcast episodes about COVID-19.

CEO Daniel Ek announced Sunday via Spotify’s newsroom that they are adding content advisory to any podcast episode that discusses COVID-19. The notice will also direct listeners to the platform’s dedicated COVID-19 HUB that contains up-to-date scientific information about the disease.

“We are working to add a content advisory to any podcast episode that includes a discussion about COVID-19. This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 HUB, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources,” the statement issued by Elk read.

He continued, “This new effort to combat misinformation will roll out to countries around the world in the coming days. To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform.”

Elk admitted that they are adding the content warnings feature in response to the feedback they’ve been receiving in recent weeks. He said they are obliged to provide their clients with access to “widely-accepted information from the medical and scientific communities” amid the ongoing pandemic.

The news comes on the heels of Neil Young’s decision to remove his entire catalog from the service in response to Joe Rogan’s controversial podcast that’s been heavily criticized for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, Deadline reported.

In support of Young, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell also asked for the removal of her music from the streaming service.

Several public health officials have been urging Spotify to take action against Rogan and his very popular “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast for “broadcasting misinformation” about the pandemic. The UFC color commentator and podcaster previously struck a $100 million deal with Spotify in May 2020 for his content.

Since Rogan’s program is currently the most-listened-to podcast on Spotify, there have been speculations that Young and Mitchell’s exit could spark a larger exodus by other musical artists and content creators, according to Variety.

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