Spotify Newsletter #114
Your Weekly Dose of Spotify News
Hello and welcome to yet another issue of the Spotify Newsletter.
I’m not moved one way or the other regarding Spotify’s new, 18-member council to advise the company on policies addressing harmful content on the audio platform.
The move comes after a backlash earlier this year against Spotify and Joe Rogan, host of the No. 1 podcast on the service. Lots of bored artists and fanatical media folks were up in arms that “The Joe Rogan Experience” engaged in COVID misinformation.
The key line around all this fresh advice and oversight is this: “…while making sure we respect creator expression.”
Ah yes, ‘creator expression.’ Surely Neil Young has plenty of thoughts about what expression he likes/doesn’t like.
But as far as I know Mr. Young isn’t on the council. And one would think that now that Spotify has birthed such a group Young might consider adding his tunes back to the streaming service. I won’t hold my breath.
I’m not opposed to the council, which strikes me as a calculated step to keep the free-speech haters at bay - at least for now. The Spotify hearts are in the right place, but the council could have 100 members and it’s never going to be good enough for a small, yet vocal (and quite maniacal) group looking to torch whatever opinions are not aligned with their wicked ideology.
I have no idea how privy we’ll be to what the newly formed Safety Advisory Council has to say about future ideas and issues pertaining to the powerhouse audio platform. No doubt the team will be called to action the minute someone in the media starts screaming about a Joe Rogan episode.
I’m a bit skeptical, to be honest. Just looking at the list of founding members and partner organizations - without knowing anything of substance about it! - made me nervous. Maybe they’re all lovers of freedom of speech and ideas. Maybe not.
Let’s just say…. my gut feeling is that none of these nice folks would give a darn were Joe Rogan to pack up tomorrow and bolt for a different podcast home.
Fairness, is all I ask.
As noted, there’s lots of great Spotify news this week, which makes this project so enjoyable. :)
Onward and upward.
★In the SPOTlight★
🔥 Spotify is acquiring Sonantic, the AI voice platform used to simulate Val Kilmer's voice in Top Gun Maverick
Alongside that is the idea that Spotify could continue Sonantic's relationships with gaming and entertainment studios, representing a new front for Spotify itself in how it diversifies its own business with more enterprise-facing, B2B products, an area where Spotify has not done much to date but remains a big area for how it might grow and mature.
Spotify is planting a stake at VidCon for the first time. The audio streaming giant is set to activate two immersive booths at the confab, to he held at the Anaheim Convention Center from June 22 to June 25, and will also present VidCon’s Night of Music on Saturday (June 25) featuring a headlining performance by SZA.
🔥 After Rogan Covid-19 controversy, Spotify forms a safety council to rethink its content moderation policies
As the company expands into more non-music audio experiences such as audiobooks, it’s bracing itself for different types of content that could draw scrutiny. Spotify’s also aiming to experiment with things like live audio and text-to-speech AI, and the external body will be looking at the firm’s policy in these emerging areas, too.
As an artist, submitting your song to Spotify playlists is usually one of the important steps to grow your number of streams and try to find new fans and listeners.
It’s the latest signal that companies across tech, many of which grew significantly over the early stage of the pandemic, are cutting back on staff growth as economic uncertainty looms.
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