Spotify CEO’s wealth drops by $1bn in 2022 amid Joe Rogan controversy

Spotify CEO’s wealth drops by $1bn in 2022 amid Joe Rogan controversy
Streaming giant’s share price has dropped by almost one-third this year

Spotify CEO Daniel Ek’s net worth has dropped by $1bn in 2022 amid the Joe Rogan misinformation controversy, a report says.

The co-founder of the streaming giant has seen his wealth fall to $2.6bn as his company’s share price has dropped by almost one-third so far this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

The company is trying to handle the widespread criticism of Covid-19 and vaccine misinformation faced by Rogan, who it paid $100m for the exclusive rights to The Joe Rogan Experience.

Mr Ek, 38, owns around 8 per cent of the company and saw his personal wealth peak last February at $5.7bn, when shares in Spotify hit a record high.

Bloomberg says that Spotify’s troubles have been linked to the sector’s overall struggles in 2022, with Facebook suffering a dramatic 26 per cent drop this week, wiping $29bn from Mark Zuckerberg’s net wealth.

Spotify announced on Wednesday that it would end the first quarter of 2022 with 418 million total users and 183 million paid subscribers, both figures lower than Wall Street’s expectations for the company.

Crosby, Stills and Nash become the latest act on Wednesday to demand that their music is removed from Spotify in protest at Joe Rogan’s alleged Covid-19 and vaccination misinformation.

The disbanded supergroup, who were known as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young when Neil Young was a member, showed solidarity for him in his row with the streaming giant.

The high-profile departures were led by Young and Joni Mitchell, who have were then joined by Bruce Springsteen’s guitarist Nils Lofgren, Graham Nash and Indie Arie.

Young started the trend by saying he would no longer be affiliated with Spotify, which has an exclusive podcast deal with Rogan.

The Swedish streaming giant has refused to remove or censure Rogan, who is the platform’s biggest podcaster.

Instead, Mr Ek announced on Sunday that the company would add Covid-19 content advisory labels in response to the backlash.

“It is important to me that we don’t take on the position of being content censor while also making sure that there are rules in place and consequences for those who violate them,” said Spotify CEO Daniel Ek on Sunday, without mentioning Rogan by name.

Last month 270 scientists and doctors wrote an open letter urging Spotify to take action “against the mass-misinformation events which continue to occur on its platform.”

Rogan took to Instagram on Sunday to apologise to Spotify.

“I want to thank Spotify for being so supportive during this time and I’m very sorry that this is happening to them and that they’re taking so much heat from it,” he said.

And he added: “I’m not trying to promote misinformation, I’m not trying to be controversial.

“I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than to just talk to people.”

“I do all the scheduling myself, and I don’t always get it right,” he added.

But since his apology, there have been no new episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience.