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Spotify Users Say They’ve Cancelled or Plan to Cancel Over Joe Rogan Controversy

Spotify Users Say They’ve Cancelled or Plan to Cancel Over Joe Rogan Controversy

About 19% of Spotify Users Say They’ve Cancelled or Plan to Cancel Over Joe Rogan Controversy, Poll Finds. But Will That Exodus Really Happen?

How big of a liability vs. an asset will Joe Rogan prove to be for Spotify?

A new survey sheds some light on which way the wind might blow given the spate of #DeleteSpotify and #CancelSpotify hashtags that blew up on social media in recent days — although similar past customer backlashes have resulted in minimal damage.

Among Spotify users, 19% said they have already canceled their service — or plan to — over the Rogan uproar, according to a Feb. 1 consumer poll conducted by Forrester Research.

The study also found that 54% of those who use Spotify have no intention of cancelling their subscription, while 18.5% said they would considering cancelling only if more artists who they like pull their music from the platform.

About 8.5% said they thought about cancelling their subscription but that Spotify’s features were too important to them.

The protest kicked off last week when Neil Young demanded Spotify remove his music because of what he identified as COVID misinformation in some of Rogan’s podcast episodes.

Since then, he’s been joined by Joni Mitchell, India Arie, Brené Brown, Roxane Gay, Mary Trump, and David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash.

Spotify Users Say They’ve Cancelled or Plan to Cancel Over Joe Rogan Controversy

If anywhere around 19% of Spotify users were to abandon the streamer, that would obviously have a huge impact.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that surveys are a gauge of self-reported behavior, and the way this Forrester poll was worded let respondents say they intend to cancel — even if, ultimately, they don’t.

It goes without saying that people don’t always do what they say they’re going to do.

Indeed, Forrester conducted a survey in September 2021 that found only 32% of U.S. adults say they would actually follow through with boycotting a brand.

Key reasons consumers cited were that it’s hard to find a replacement (33%) were because the brand is embedded in their lives (32%).

“Consumer boycotts build quickly, but they lose steam fast,” Forrester analysts Mike Proulx and Kelsey Chickering wrote in detailing the Spotify poll results. While “cancel culture is loud, for most brands, it’s just noise.”

There’s another caveat with Forrester’s Spotify/Rogan study: It had a relatively small size, polling 657 online consumers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada, of which about one-third were Spotify users.

That implies a sizeable margin of error given Spotify’s massive user base of 406 million worldwide overall (including 180 million paid subscribers) at the end of 2021.

In addition, the researchers pointed out that the data is not weighted to be representative of total country populations.


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