Spotify appears to be removing controversial episodes of its wildly popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast from its service.
According to a report from The Wrap, 42 episodes of the podcast from the MMA commentator and comedian have been removed from the platform since it purchased the podcast for $100 million in May 2020, though some of the original uploads remain on YouTube.
Four episodes with comedian Chris D’Elia, who has been accused of pursuing underage girls on social media, are among the removed episodes, The Wrap reported. Another six episodes featuring conspiracy theorist David Seaman have also been removed.
Rogan has frequently made offensive statements, shared misinformation, and hosted problematic guests on his podcast. In 2020, he made the false claims that Caitlyn Jenner could have been transgender as a result of living with the Kardashian women, that the Portland forest fires were started by “left-wing” activists, and described transgender identity as a “social contagion.”
The most recent removal of content occurred on April 6, according to The Wrap, with two old podcasts being taken off the platform. One of those episodes, first released in 2013, featured Bulletproof Coffee founder David Asprey, who has shared controversial scientific misinformation, like that with stem cell injections you can live to be 180-years-old. Rogan himself did call out Asprey’s misinformation on his podcast, saying in episode #459 with Dr. Rhonda Patrick that “he gets s— wrong and I don’t know if he’s always so good at recognizing when he has done that and correcting himself.”
There are currently 1,632 episodes of the Joe Rogan Experience created since 2009, with less than 3% having been removed.
Some episodes recorded before the Spotify acquisition never made the move over to the streaming service from YouTube, as Variety reported, including those with conservative YouTuber Sargon of Akkad, Proud Boys extremist-group founder Gavin McInnes, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos.
During a February episode with guest Fahim Anwar, Rogan alluded to the fact that some of these episodes were taken down. “They haven’t given me a hard time at all,” Rogan said. “There were a few episodes they didn’t want on their platform, I was like ‘okay, I don’t care.'”
Spotify did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) announced on Monday that it was getting into crypto art by minting its own digital collectibles designed to commemorate the first public trade of six stocks.
The NYSE is not only the largest stock exchange in the world, but it is also the first to get into crypto art. The collectibles will represent the first trades of Spotify, Snowflake, Unity, DoorDash, Roblox, and Coupang. NYSE said it plans to launch more first-trade collectibles in the future.
The digital collectibles will operate as non-fungible tokens or NFTs. NFTs are digital collectible tokens that allow the buyer to connect their name directly to the creator via the blockchain.
While the NYSE appears to be getting in on the NFT trend, the exchange’s tokens are not up for sale. The NFTs are housed on Crypto.com, a less than month-old NFT trading platform that has already launched crypto art sales for several celebrities including Snoop Dogg and Boy George.
A source familiar with the matter told Insider NYSE does not plan to sell its NFTs, but has already gifted them to the respective companies. The NYSE also plans to mint future NFTs and gift those to the memorialized companies as well, according to the source.
The NFTs for each company feature a short clip containing information about the first trade, including the sale price, date, and a string of numbers representing the first trade quote code.
Stacey Cunningham, the President of NYSE, said the NFTs will help commemorate the very first moments a company joins NYSE by highlighting the data from a company’s very first trade.
“NYSE technology is processing over 350 billion order, quote and trade messages across our markets on our busiest days, more than any other exchange in the world,” Cunningham said in a LinkedIn post. “Only one of those messages marks the NYSE First Trade: the exact moment a company became public, creating an opportunity for others to share in their success.”
When the pandemic struck, the floor was promptly ripped out from under working musicians. With the closure of venues and touring off the table, the bleak reality of declining recording revenue – which has nose-dived in the streaming era – began to sink in as artists faced an uncertain future.
Although the recording industry has always been a predatory and exploitative force (especially to non white people and women), the inequalities within music have become more acute since the onset of COVID-19. According to The American Prospect, “Spotify has outperformed Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google between January 2020 and January 2021,” boosting CEO Daniel Ek’s net worth to $5.3 billion, and leaving musicians – who earn a paltry $0.00348 per stream – without a foothold.
As musician Damon Krukowski told the Prospect’s David Dayen, “Last year, the COVID year, [my band] Galaxie 500 had 8.5 million streams on Spotify. We also released a 2,000-copy, limited-edition LP. They raised the same amount of money. Neither is enough to live on.” Krukowski told Dayen that he added up the amount of monthly streams that would amount to each band member earning $15 an hour from Spotify. The number was 650,000. According to MIT, the living wage in Boston, where Krukowski’s band is based, is $19.17 an hour.
Streaming companies’ rapid devaluation of recorded music has been a long-term project. As music piracy took off in the late 90s and early 2000s, the music industry created a narrative that such platforms were stealing from artists, despite the fact that many indie musicians owed their careers to piracy. One North Carolina State University study even suggested the piracy boosted album sales. Krukowski told Dayen that his band was able to reach people through piracy and sell out shows in countries that they could never reach through traditional channels.
The Recording Industry Association of America worked tooth and nail to sue pirate sites like Napster and Kazaa out of business and mounted a counterrevolution to piracy that would eventually evolve into streaming. Of course the modus operandi of the tech industry is to “innovate” via consolidation, new technology and legal justifications that works to funnel wealth upwards to investors while devaluing labor. According to Rolling Stone, “65% of Spotify was owned by just six parties,” including the company’s founders and Wall St. firms like Morgan Stanley. Other owners include the major record companies, who, according to music writer Liz Pelly, use their leverage to promote their artists on the site at the expense of those with fewer resources.
As Joey La Neve DeFrancesco, a musician and organizer from Providence, Rhode Island, told me in a phone interview, “Streaming has simply seen an exaggeration of the trend of more and more resources being directed to an ever smaller number of people in the music industry.” Pelly noted in The Baffler magazine that “a study released by Citigroup showed that in 2017, only approximately 12% of the music industry’s revenue went to artists, which speaks to the financial precariousness faced by many musicians.”
DeFrancesco spoke to the similarities between Spotify and other tech companies. “What’s happening at Spotify is very similar to what we’ve seen happen in other industries, like with rideshare companies. …The companies themselves say, ‘Oh, we can’t pay people more, we’re actually operating at a loss,’ but it’s this confusing array of venture capitalist firms who are investing in these companies and artificially propping them up to create monopolies to drive down prices and to drive up competition, making it increasingly difficult for workers to mount in opposition.”
But with COVID, everything changed.
Organizing against Spotify
“Things were growing more and more unequal in our industry, and the pandemic pushed everything over the edge and allowed music workers the time to start talking to one another,” DeFrancesco said. Once off the road and grounded at home, DeFrancesco and other musicians began sharing their stories over Zoom about industry practices, streaming rates, and other issues facing artists.
From there, the Union of Musicians and Allied Workers (UMAW) was born. Today, the group has 25 steering committee members and 80 subcommittee members that work on a myriad of issues facing artists such as labels, venues, immigration and police abolition. The group’s mission statement states: “UMAW has mobilized thousands of music workers to take part in our first actions around the COVID crisis, and we will continue to organize around issues such as demanding fairer deals from streaming services, ensuring musicians receive the royalties they are owed, establishing more just relationships with labels, and creating safer guidelines for venues.”
On March 15, masked-up musicians and their allies took to Spotify offices all over the world to hand deliver their demands to the streaming giant as part of the group’s Justice at Spotify campaign. They called for a raise to a penny-per-stream (approximately three times the current rate), the adaptation of a user-centric payment model that pays musicians proportionally to the amount of streams they receive, transparency about contracts and the removal of payola, proper attribution credits for work on recordings, and an end to “legal battles intended to further impoverish artists.” Nearly 28,000 signed onto the demands that were delivered in 15 cities around the world including in New York, Berlin, São Paulo, London, and Nashville, highlighting the Swedish company’s role in global music distribution and labor exploitation.
As soon as the campaign took off, Spotify quickly launched a website called Loud & Clear, which was designed to offer transparency about the company, or act as a PR smokescreen, depending on who you ask. As UMAW retorted, “This website answers none of our demands and even further obfuscates transparency. The company simply deflects blame onto others for systems it has itself built and provided no further information on their per-stream rate.”
DeFrancesco told me that although the company didn’t mention UMAW’s campaign directly, “the fact that they felt the need to [create the website] and move to the steps that we see a lot of companies do when confronted is telling. They moved from just ignoring protest to beginning to lash out back at the activists and workers. That means we are making inroads.”
UMAW plans to keep building their union. “The only way to counter the power of these major companies and venture capitalists is to build an opposing worker power,” DeFrancesco said.
“With new tech solutions, we’re just going to replicate the same power inequities, unless we actually organize power. So you know, we need to get musicians together and organized so we can, like the rest of the labor movement, demand power and resources from the people who own the means of production, which is these monopoly tech companies. This way we can build a political force so that we can lobby for regulation and get public resources to arts workers like they have in other industrialized countries.”
Will Meyer is a freelance writer and co-editor of The Shoestring in western Massachusetts. His writing has appeared in The Baffler, The New Republic, CJR, and many other publications. Find him on Twitter @willinabucket.
Many companies are preparing for employees to return to the office at some point this year, but that approach is by no means universal.
The deadly impact of the COVID-19 pandemic meant office-based workers were forced to rapidly shift to remote models. Now, both employers and employees are seeing the benefits and opportunities that such models can provide and are choosing to run with it over the long term. In some cities, this means more money for employees, a new study has found.
No doubt, when some people look for their next career move, they will consider remote work as a more attractive option due to its flexibility.
According to recent data from Harvey Nash, a tech recruiter, more than three-quarters (79%) of UK tech workers – the equivalent of more than one million people working in the sector – want to continue working from home for the majority of the week after the pandemic.
So, for those looking for a job change in a remote-working environment, where are the best places to look?
A new study by Swedish job search engine, Jobbland.se, found the countries that have the most remote jobs available relative to their working-age group. It also analyzed which industries have the most remote jobs advertised, and which cities are paying more or less for non-office jobs that are being advertised.
Which countries are offering the most remote jobs?
Based on jobs being advertised on LinkedIn in March 2021, those living in the US have a greater opportunity to find non-office jobs, where 113% of the jobs being offered are remote, relative to its working population.
Opportunities for remote work fall by nearly half in the UK, but the country still remains the highest non-office job advertiser among other European countries.
Which industries are most likely to offer fully remote positions?
With the option to work in a fully remote environment, the translation industry ranked number one as most likely to offer fully remote positions (91%). Editing and writing (56%), legal jobs (53%), and software development (47%) are also among the highest industries most likely to offer non-office jobs.
Sports and fitness (21%) and manufacturing (15%), however, are among the lowest.
Which cities are paying more for remote work?
According to the study, employees based in San Francisco can enjoy the benefits of high salaries for both remote and non-remote work. But, the tech city is offering higher average salaries for remote work jobs being advertised. Non-office work is presently paying $31,508 more in the California city.
In Ottawa, Canada, work-from-home jobs are paying $12,499 more than office jobs, on average. Meanwhile, Lyon pays the highest amount more for remote work than non-remote work in Europe.
In Sydney, there is also a difference in pay between remote and non-remote salaries but the Australian city is the lowest among some of the most populous cities, with only a 2% increase in remote jobs’ salaries.
Both have big catalogs but Spotify’s playlists and sharing options are the best fit for most people.
Music Unlimited (small)Music Service (small)Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky
There’s never been a better time to jump in and commit to a music streaming service than right now. The ability to save nearly any song to your library for on-demand listening at home or on the go is a game-changer. Spotify and Amazon Music are great services in this regard and both are well worth considering.
Each platform has around 70 million songs available, along with their own set of features. Both have apps for iPhones, Android smartphones, computers, and other popular devices so you’ll be able to listen in dozens of ways.
That said, there are a few differences that could make one service a better fit over the other. We compared the two across a variety of categories to help you decide which is right for you.
Amazon Music vs Spotify: which is better?
Spotify may be the world’s most popular streaming music service, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider Amazon Music. Both have a lot to offer in the unique features they provide.
In fact, Amazon Music appears to be trying hard to differentiate itself in the world of streaming by offering a plan with higher fidelity tracks, along with some nice perks for Amazon Prime members. Spotify, meanwhile, sticks to standard music bitrates and streamlined subscription offerings, which could make it a more convenient solution for people who just need a casual music listening service.
Let’s take a look at how each stacks up against the other in some key areas.
Song catalog size:
Around 70 million songs
Around 70 million songs
Coming later this year
X-Ray lyrics, Alexa voice assistant
Best in class playlists, podcast support
iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Web
iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, Web
Pricing and plans
Both Spotify and Amazon Music can be used for free, but the free tiers are significantly limited and largely amount to Internet radio on mobile. As is common, both services allow for 30-day trials to test their paid versions.
The paid plans and pricing for Spotify are streamlined compared to Amazon. Plans include: Free, Premium, Premium Duo, and Premium Family, and Premium Student.
Spotify’s ad-supported plan is completely free. This option lets you listen to any song through the desktop app, but you do have to deal with constant ads. If you don’t want commercials, you can choose one of Spotify’s Premium plans. The more expensive options allow you to add more users, so multiple people in the same household can listen at the same time.
Spotify Premium Duo
Spotify Premium Family
Students can also take advantage of a discounted Premium rate of just $5 a month. As a bonus, this plan also comes with a complimentary Hulu and Showtime subscription.
Amazon Music plans
Amazon Music features a few more options than Spotify. Plans include: Free, Included with Prime, Unlimited, Unlimited Family, Echo, and HD.
Amazon Music’s completely free option doesn’t let you listen to specific songs on-demand. Instead it offers an experience more like streaming radio with ads.
If you have an Amazon Prime membership, you get access to an expanded music service, called Amazon Prime Music, as part of your subscription. This plan is ad-free and has on-demand access to around 2 million songs. For access to Amazon’s full library of songs, however, you need to upgrade to a Music Unlimited plan for an extra fee.
Amazon Prime Music
Amazon Music Unlimited
Amazon Music Unlimited Family
Amazon Music HD
Free with Amazon Prime
$8 with Prime, $10 without
$15 with Prime
$13 with Prime, $15 without
Select playlists and stations
Music Unlimited also offers the option to restrict streaming to a single Amazon device for a reduced fee. You can give a single, eligible Echo device access to Music Unlimited for just $4 a month (instead of the standard $10).
Spotify and Amazon Music both provide similar quality for their free and standard plans. Music streaming is compressed to reduce size and data requirements, but most people listening on mobile devices and earbuds likely won’t notice any major quality issues.
Where Amazon has an edge on Spotify, however, is with its Music HD plan. This higher priced option is designed for audiophiles and features CD-quality streaming that preserves the full range of the original recording. Some tracks are even provided in Ultra HD, which exceeds the specifications for CD-quality.
Amazon Music HD’s superior quality will be noticeable for some people, but to fully take advantage of the increased sound performance you’ll need expensive speakers or headphones.
Though Spotify doesn’t currently offer a CD-quality plan, the service will be adding that option, called Spotify HiFi, later this year.
The look and feel of both streaming services is similar. Amazon and Spotify each feature a navigation bar across the bottom of their mobile apps with a home screen, search, and collected library of music.
While most people use music services through their mobile devices, both Spotify and Amazon Music do offer desktop apps as well. This is where the two experiences differ. Spotify’s desktop app is decent and has been refined over more than a decade. In March 2021, the streaming service announced it updated its desktop app’s interface to allow offline downloads and give “more control” for creating playlists.
The Amazon Music desktop app, on the other hand, is very utilitarian. The interface on a Mac is unintuitive and completely unlike its mobile app counterpart. For instance, the design makes it difficult to use the listening queue mechanism.
Amazon Music’s web interface is better and simpler to use. In Spotify’s case, it’s definitely an advantage to have such a solid desktop app.
Performance and features
On a macro level, Spotify and Amazon Music are closely aligned. For example, the catalog of songs available to listen to hardly varies at all, and any exclusives are mostly negligible. Each service does have its own set of features to set itself apart though.
For Amazon Music, its mobile app includes its Alexa voice assistant built-in. This functionality means that all music controls can be performed via hands-free voice commands. The version of Alexa accessible through the music app can also perform other skills. For example, you can ask Alexa to control smart lights the same as you would through an Echo. Spotify does offer a “Hey Spotify” feature that lets its members use their voice to find artists and songs, but its functionality isn’t as robust as Alexa.
The Amazon Music app’s other main feature includes X-Ray lyrics. This is a neat and genuinely helpful feature that allows lyrics to scroll by as the song plays for a karaoke-like experience.
Merch pages are also now attached to select artists’ profiles on Amazon Music to make it easier to buy their merchandise right from the Music app. Amazon Music introduced Car Mode in April 2021, as well, to provide a simplified, minimal interface for commuters.
Though these Amazon features are appealing, Spotify still has a clear edge when it comes to its great music algorithms, which the service puts to use in the form of personal playlists. “Discover Weekly” and other playlists definitely set the music service apart from others. If you don’t know what to listen to, you don’t have to suffer through generic radio.
Spotify also allows filters based on genres and moods. Playlists have an “enhance” button too, which can add random songs that are similar to the ones you’ve already included. A “recently played” option is also in the works that will allow users to look back at their past three months of streaming.
When it comes to travel and commuting, Spotify features integrations with Google Maps and Waze, as well as a dedicated car interface with big buttons to keep your music listening safe on the road.
More so than any other music service, Spotify has become a social network over the years and allows you to follow friends and easily share songs back and forth. This works well because it’s the world’s largest music platform and has the most listeners who will gladly click on a link you share.
The bottom line
A few years ago, the question of whether you should use Spotify versus Amazon Music was an easy choice. Now in 2021, that choice isn’t as clear cut. The good news is that both services offer compelling features at reasonable prices.
Ultimately, Spotify is still the best choice for most people. While Amazon Music has a wider assortment of pricing options which may fit a specific need more than Spotify, those who just want convenient music streaming will likely be more than satisfied with Spotify’s simplified offerings. Amazon Music is an appealing option for people who are already Prime members, but Spotify is a better fit if you’re not interested in paying for other Amazon perks.
For the standard $10 a month price, Spotify provides a feature-rich experience that covers all you can listen to across mobile, desktop, and connected speakers.
If you find you are no longer using Spotify, you can delete your account. However, you can only delete your Spotify account on the Spotify website through an internet browser – not on the mobile app.
Before closing your account, make sure you’re aware of the repercussions. You can also cancel your subscription without deleting your account altogether, and only use the free version of Spotify.
If you do close your account, you won’t be able to use your current username with Spotify again; you can, however, create a new account with the same email address. Additionally, you won’t have access to your playlists and followers anymore and you’ll lose all the music you’ve saved to your library.
Here’s how to close your Spotify account and erase your saved music.
Ford has become the first automobile company to shift towards remote working on a permanent basis, according to CNBC, with around 86,000 employees being allowed to work at least partially from home.
The policy is aimed at office workers rather than factory workers, who number around 100,000 and have largely returned to work.
Hybrid work plans and remote working will depend on individual and managerial responsibilities.
“The nature of the work we do really is going to be a guiding element,” chief people and employee experiences officer Kiersten Robinson told CNBC. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last 12 months, it is that a lot of our assumptions around work and what employees need has shifted.”
Ford’s new policy will be introduced in July when most employees are expected to make at least a partial return to the office after more than a year.
“The nature of work drives whether or not you can adopt this model. There are certain jobs that are place-dependent – you need to be in the physical space to do the job,” chairman and chief executive of Ford Land, David Dubensky, told The Washington Post.
“Having the flexibility to choose how you work is pretty powerful,” Dubensky added. “It’s up to the employee to have dialogue and discussion with their people leader to determine what works best.”
According to a survey conducted at Ford in June 2020, 95% of employees wanted a hybrid form of working and a number of them felt more productive at home.
The move from Ford comes after major companies including Google, Spotify, and Salesforce all announced that they were offering their employees the option to work from home permanently.
“These companies are all looking at each other,” associate professor at Michigan State University’s School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, Angela Hall, told The Detroit News. “And especially someone like Ford, who is a large, respected employer – people are going to model that behavior.”
The Washington Post also reported that General Motors and Toyota were looking at flexible options for a return to the office, although they are both yet to announce new policies.
If your phone is running Android 11 or later and your audio app supports it, you can now easily change your audio output destination with just a tap or two without the need to disconnect and reconnect playback devices. This lets you easily switch between Bluetooth earbuds and Bluetooth speaker, for example, in the middle of playing music on Spotify.