According to new reports, Ava DuVernay’s production company Array has severed ties with Spotify.
The move comes just a year after Array signed a multi-year exclusivity deal with Spotify. No podcasts were released under this deal, but several scripted and unscripted shows were in development. Ava DuVernay has not spoken publicly about the decision, nor has Spotify commented.
Ava DuVernay joins a growing list of artists and creators who have left Spotify in recent weeks.
Neil Young started the exodus by exposing the misinformation about COVID-19 spread by the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Young requested that his music be removed in protest of the service, with several other artists following suit. Former bandmates Crosby, Stills and Nash joined in pulling their music from Spotify. Joni Mitchell also announced her support for Young and pulled her music.
India Arie said Neil Young opened a door she had to go through and joined him in condemning Joe Rogan for different reasons.
A Joe Rogan supercut using the n-word slur began circulating on social media shortly after Arie pointed out Rogan’s problematic use of the slur. Rogan posted a video apology and pointed out the context in which he was speaking the word.
Spotify continues to support Rogan, with Daniel Ek saying it’s a “slippery slope” to undo his vocals. But The New York Times recently reported that Spotify paid more than $200 million for its multi-year exclusive deal with JRE, up $100 million from previous reports. Rogan has since called the video’s backlash a “political blockbuster job” in a recent podcast episode.
Meanwhile, Spotify stock is struggling as Joe Rogan’s podcast continues to make headlines. SPOT stock is at $152.27 at the time of writing, which is down more than 5% in the past five days. SPOT is down over 37% for 2022 and has reached near pre-pandemic levels in price. It will be interesting to see how Wall Street reacts to this growing problem. Spotify HiFi is still lacking while spatial audio continues to differentiate Apple Music in the realm of competition.