Streaming giant Spotify has quietly removed more than 40 episodes of the controversial Joe Rogan Experience podcast without an explanation.
Less than a year after the company purchased the exclusive rights to his podcast for a staggering $US100 million (approximately $130.5 million), the company has removed at least 42 episodes of the popular podcast.
Interestingly, the removal of the episodes comes after a number of particularly controversial episodes never even made it to the platform.
“They haven’t given me a hard time at all,” Rogan said of Spotify back in February.
“There were a few episodes they didn’t want on their platform, I was like ‘okay, I don’t care.’”
The episodes in question, according to The Wrap, included guests such as the Proud Boys extremist group founder Gavin McInnes, Alex Jonesand Milo Yiannopoulos, among a number of other far-right figures.
Among the more recent episodes that were removed were four with comedian Chris D’Elia, who has been accused of allegedly pursuing inappropriate relationships with underage girls. D’elia has denied these accusations.
Additionally, six episodes guest-starring conspiracy theorist David Seaman have also been axed by the platform.
One of the most recent episodes to be deleted, No. 411, featured Bulletproof Coffee founder Dave Asprey. For those unfamiliar, Bulletproof Coffee is a high-calorie coffee drink made with a shit-tonne of butter that claims to offer a plethora of health benefits that have been heavily disputed.
As for the founder himself, Asprey regularly spews a bunch of controversial and often unproven anti-aging theories. He even claims he’s going to live to at least 180 years of age.
It’s easy to see why Spotify might want to remove this episode from the platform, but the other recently deleted episodes are a little harder to understand.
Episode 149 is from a live recording at California’s Ice House starring comedians like Al Madrigal, Brian Redban (who used to work on the show) and Felicia Michaels.
But unlike the aforementioned episodes, this one isn’t particularly controversial and doesn’t have any immediately obvious reasons for deletion.
At the time of publishing, Joe Rogan has released a total of 1,631 episodes, so the 42 that Spotify deleted are just a blip on the radar.
But it’s an interesting decision coming from the platform that coughed up $130 million for exclusivity over the content they’re now deleting.
The move comes after a number of Spotify employees voiced their concern with the multi-million dollar deal last year, with some threatening to strike if some transphobic episodes weren’t deleted from the platform.
Gizmodo Australia has reached out to Spotify for a statement but is yet to hear back.