Archewell Productions Urges Spotify to Address 'Serious Harms' of COVID-19 Misinformation
© AP Photo / Mary AltafferPrince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are escorted as they leave the United Nations headquarters after a visit during 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021
© AP Photo / Mary Altaffer
Last week, iconic musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell removed their respective catalogs from Spotify in protest against the streaming platform's hosting of content that spreads COVID-19 misinformation. Their actions follow the issuance of an open letter from 270 doctors demanding Spotify cease hosting Joe Rogan's controversial podcast.
Archewell Productions, the production company of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, issued a statement on Sunday detailing that the couple had previously reached out to Spotify in April 2021 regarding the "all-too-real consequences of COVID-19 misinformation on its platform."
"Since the inception of Archewell, we have worked to address the real-time global misinformation crisis. Hundreds of millions of people are affected by the serious harms of rampant mis- and disinformation every day," said an Archewell spokesperson in a statement.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are currently involved in an exclusive, multi-year podcast deal with Spotify via Archewell Audio. The company has pledged to produce content to "uplift and entertain" audiences by highlighting diverse perspectives and voices.
"We have continued to express our concerns to Spotify to ensure changes to its platform are made to help address this public health crisis," the spokesperson added.
"We look to Spotify to meet this moment and are committed to continuing our work together as it does."
Harry and Meghan's statement comes on the heels of protests by Neil Young and Joni Mitchell against the platform's decision to host content spreading misinformation on COVID-19 and related vaccines.
Young, specifically, called out the podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience," which is regularly accused of propagating misinformation.
"They can have Rogan or Young," said the Canadian-born singer. "Not both."
29 January 2022, 19:20 GMT
In a Sunday statement, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek announced that podcasts discussing COVID-19 and vaccines would be slapped with advisories and include links to redirect users to a COVID-19 Hub.
The changes will be rolled out "in the coming days," Ek noted.
"To our knowledge, this content advisory is the first of its kind by a major podcast platform," the company boasted.
The company also intends to begin testing ways to better highlight its Platform Rules within the creator and publisher tools. Such a move would be a step toward increasing "accountability" and raising awareness of what is acceptable on the platform.