New York (CNN Business)Spotify ( is reaping the financial rewards of betting on podcasts. But the audio streaming platform is also paying the price for the spread of misinformation. )
While Spotify makes the vast majority of revenue from paid subscribers, ad-supported revenue grew 9% in the third quarter of 2020 compared to the year prior. Spotify said podcast listening is growing with 22% of monthly active users engaging with that content, up from 21% the previous quarter.
CEO Daniel Ek addressed the recent controversy during Thursday's earnings call, saying the company is focused on "consistently applying" its content policies.
"It doesn't matter if you're Joe Rogan or anyone else," Ek said. "We do apply those policies, but it's important to note that this needs to be evenly applied — no matter if it's an internal pressure or an external pressure as well — because otherwise we are a creative platform for lots of creators, and it's important that they know what to expect from our platform. If we can't do that, then there are other choices for creators to go."
"[T]his was the number one searched for show on Spotify that we are now including. So, I think it's going to be a very, very positive one," Ek said on the July call.
On Thursday's called, Ek said the podcast has been an "overall great success so far."
"I think the real test will come, however, when the podcast becomes exclusive at the platform, but we're very encouraged with the launch so far. It's very much been an international hit, which may have been a little bit of surprise."
"All content on Spotify is subject to our long-standing content guidelines. Our diverse team of experts reviewed the content in question and determined that it did not meet the criteria for removal from our platform," a Spotify spokesperson told Motherboard at the time.
Spotify declined CNN Business' request for comment about that incident and the latest episode with Jones.
For the third quarter, Spotify reported 144 million paid subscribers, up 27% from the year prior and at the high end of its forecast. The company generated about $2.3 billion in revenue, up 14% from the year prior. For the next quarter, Spotify estimates that there will be 150 million to 154 million paid subscribers and revenue of $2.3 billion to $2.6 billion.