Like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and India Arie, Ava DuVernay’s Array is no longer doing business with Spotify.
Just more than a year after the activist Oscar nominee’s film collective inked a first-look deal with the music and podcast streamer, a spokesperson for Array has confirmed the plug has been pulled. Even though Array had set the LEAP Files podcast as its inaugural offering with Spotify, no actual projects had made it to the streaming platforms yet.
A spokesperson for Spotify said today the company had no comment on Array’s exit, which occurred in the past few weeks.
However, it can’t be ignored that the exit comes as classic rockers and others have taken Spotify to task for the Covid-19 vaccine “misinformation” and repeated use of the N-word by Joe Rogan. As the likes of the “Heart of Gold” songwriter have pulled their music from the service, self-described “moron” Rogan has alternated between apologizing for his language and his handling of guests and seemingly doubling down in playing to his audience.
Having forked out $100 million for exclusive rights to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, Spotify has added some warning labels and uttered platitudes about “learning opportunities” as controversy continues to swirl around the contentious Rogan. Otherwise the Daniel Ek-run organization has pretty much backed its golden boy.
Array and Spotify unveiled their multi-year agreement to promote inclusive storytelling and produce exclusive scripted and unscripted series back in January 2021. As part of the deal, Array partnered with Spotify’s Gimlet studio with shows overseen by Array Filmworks’ now ex-president Sarah Bremner.
Now that’s gone silent.
Spotify shares dipped today in a market slump, closing at $159, near a 52-week low (of $155) hit recently as the Rogan debacle unfolded. To compare, that’s way, way down from the stock’s high of nearly $390 in early 2021.
News of Array ending its relationship with Spotify was first revealed by the New York Times.
Jill Goldsmith contributed to this report.
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