The Joe Rogan Experience
A controversial podcaster needs to balance things out. So does general audience.
Four decades ago, the only medium available around my desk was a small radio set of SONY, an audio manufacturer. The resource was very scarce to listen to the world outside Japan. At that time, TVs penetrated into the average consumers almost 90% or above and yet English listening opportunity was limited.
I bought a SONY radio in 1980 to know the United States. It was a huge bet.
As a university student, a $500 radio with cassette tape player was very expensive. No station was being broadcast in FM and AM broad bands. A radio hardware for FM/AM was much cheaper. I had no choice but this one pictured above because the English broadcast station hosted hours and hours of pop songs in the short wave. Every hour, the station aired five-minute of news on military, politics and business. The last minute of the news sent the listeners on sports such as live scores of NFL, NBA, and MLB. The rest was pop-song.
The hardware looked like a military radio U.S. solders depended on in the battle field. In fact, the sole station was called FEN, Far Eastern Network, in Yokosuka, the west of Tokyo. Soon after a purchase, I would listen to the station a lot. It was a real taste.
At the present day in 2022, the resource is so overwhelmingly broad and eye-bowling inexpensive to listen to what is going on in America. With a few taps on an iPhone model, liters like me can reach a vast number of radio stations. iPhone models are sold in both physical stores and online. Consumers in Tokyo can go to Akihabara, an electronics district, to purchase old iPhone models with less than $70 with SIM free.
I bought two identical iPhone SEs in 1st generation in less than $150.
With my eyes nearsighted year by year, it is becoming a little bit hard to read books and magazines in bedrooms to input the information in my brain. So I would listen to a favorite station such as The Journal. (Wall Street Journal) and The Daily (New York Times). Simultaneously, I read a weekly magazine, The Economist, liberal newspaper in London.
On February 5th, 2022, the Joe Rogan Experience appeared in the London publisher which illustrated anti-vaccine misinformation on Covid-19 in the streaming service, Spotify. My initial reaction was, “What is going on in America?”, “How did it happen?” A strange story unfolds as follows.
To search for a new frontier of sound business, Spotify advanced into a podcast industry by purchasing companies and spending millions of dollars. It signed exclusive rights with Joe Rogan for a reported $100m. When Mr. Rogan misinformed the audience of anti-vaccine bust-up, giving a brief airtime to anti-vaxxers, the medical experts refuted in protest to his statement. Spotify decided to hang on to a most popular podcaster who at one time attracted 1.5m listeners in two hours of his radio.
A few words in short period of airtime blew the liters as well as artists out. Two musicians, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, have withdrawn their music from Spotify. Mr. Young is determined to lose 60% of worldwide income of the his music on the streaming service. A rough figure of his loss stands about $300,000 this year, a former Spotify chief economist, Will Pages, reckons. Spotify was founded as an original mission to fight against music piracy to protect and cultivate armature artists.
Non-professional musicians upload their tunes built in bedrooms and garages. The streamers and 180m paid subscribers cast a little doubt on the vulnerability of the platformers over the rules and regulations in the contract. As long as free on the platform, the guidelines were mildly noted. But when the cost and investment of liters are negatively impacted to generate lower returns in the music industry, Spotify and Joe Rogan need to balance out the sensitive subjects.
The platformer, which I think somewhat responsible for content of podcasters, especially signed in a contract to explicitly state the benefits and risks of broadcasting to the large audience, later removed 20,000 episodes over covid misinformation. Content moderation is in effect to grow internally. The advancement into new field meets a new challenge, content moderation for uploaded radio streams. Probably, no one would have thought about this before the deal with Mr. Rogan.
The general audience needs to balance things out, too. My solution is quite simple but a little bit hard to do. For a start, it is recommended to listen to a podcast no more than thirty minutes a day. The average listeners like me can be informed of the situation in America by limiting the time to exposure. News is temporary and hardly persistent. So the audience directs their attention to the podcast in an episode a day from the stations. But with attractive gadgets in affordable price in hands, it is not so easy to fight with temptations.
The second attempt lies in the selection of stations. Three radio stations on register are more or less enough to regularly spend the airtime thirty-minutes a day. My choice is very limited to liberal news outlet such as WSJ, NYT, and the Economist. Deliberate narrow choice is required but it is necessary to compare the contents on the same topic from different outlets. This promotes the balancing-out. Still, listeners are easily addicted to expand their choice to the similar explosive content because the technology is used to please streamers and audience in tact until they realize the actual damage from the harmful content.
The third determination, which is the most important, is to stop fighting for a lot of decision-making and problem-solving. The problem-solving is fun for some people because it comes with a comfortable challenge with minor achievement. But it is also addictive. The comfort zone exists and persists to exist as long as one takes a small step day by day. But the overloaded brain does damage to end up with confusion. It is complicated but people need a healthy break out of four-hour recreational time a day.
In a period of scarcely available resource in one radio station and accessible overpriced hardware, my head was almost empty about America four decades ago. It was tasty moment along time ago. It is now inclined to get overloaded in the time of excessive information in affordable gadgets. Access to information is very easy. But the risks in streaming contents are inherent in ears.
Tats or waste? I didn’t know that liters need to detox their brains by sorting out stations and desperately erasing risky information from the radio shows.
Let’s do something good for your ears.