India.Arie‘s Music Back On Spotify, Protest Results In Artist Pay Increase

It’s been over a year since India.Arie removed her music from Spotify in protest of Joe Rogan’s multi-million dollar deal with the streamer, as artists such as herself were paid pennies. Fortunately for fans, the neo-soul songbird has revealed that her music is back on the streaming platform.

“After a successful protest! My music is back up on Spotify,” she revealed on social media […] Also I must say All the media outlets and even ‘friends’ who talked sh*t about me, let’s see if you care NOW that my stance impacted change.

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“I WISH we had a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY AROUND THE USE OF THE N WORD,” she continued, alluding to Rogan’s repeated use of the racial slur on his program. “Sadly we let people get away with it. I cant change that. But the way MY DIGNITY is set up! I STOOD FOR ME. AND IT WORKED. PROTECTING MY PEACE IN 2023.”

Arie, 47, later mentioned that Spotify pledged to invest $100 million into podcasters of color. “Not ONE podcast. Over MANY podcasters of color. I don’t know who is monitoring that. But Spotify SAID they would. FOR CLARITY. anywhere you stream an artist music pays very low. Spotify pays the LOWEST. So, if you were on Apple Music or what ever! that works a LITTLE better for us.”

When speaking on her public feud with Spotify, the Acoustic Soul singer shared it was her least favorite thing that took place last year. “People thought it was a public battle with Joe Rogan but it wasn’t. It was with Spotify because Spotify is the company that exploits all of our copyrights. The record labels too are in bed with Spotify and I wanted everybody to speak up and tell our artists of color who sell the most music and our artists who are offended by the use of racist language, why they thought it was okay to invest in this guy Joe Rogan? So in protest, I took my music down, which you know did not necessarily behoove me,” she explained.

Her overall goals with the protest was for Rogan and Spotify to both take accountability and to “see systemic change in the music industry.” Arie confirmed that the streamer did change their terms and conditions, took down upwards of 70 episodes of Rogan’s podcast, and will increase artists’ payouts by 15% each year for the next five years—resulting in an overall 75% increase.

“I felt like I’m ready to put my music back up because I want my money. I mean I deserve my money, but of course I want it too,” explained the singer.

In regards to the pledge—which was announced last year and mirrors the amount Spotify paid Joe Rogan for his podcast—it’s being considered “half-baked measures” that “amounts to a bribe,” said Anup Srivastava, a business professor at the University of Calgary to NBC News.

Previously, Arie accepted Rogan’s apology and admitted that she doesn’t believe he’s racist. Watch her full explanation behind the protest and subsequent aftermath above.

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