India Arie Explains Why She Ended Her Spotify Protest After Joe Rogan Controversy

India Arie announced her music was back on Spotify in February, ending a year-long protest against the streaming service.

India Arie’s music returned to Spotify a year after she boycotted the streaming service over its $200 million deal with Joe Rogan.

Last year, several artists pulled their music from Spotify due to Joe Rogan’s COVID misinformation. India Arie joined in the exodus, citing the comedian’s racist language. She also expressed concerns about Spotify’s treatment of Black artists.

India Arie ended her Spotify protest in February 2023. She detailed why she decided to put her music back on the streaming service in an interview with Billboard.

“Something big did change for me where I started getting these royalties payments,” she noted. “I’ll be getting my first ones this year. But also, [NMPA president/CEO] David Israelite won the lawsuit where [the royalty rate for songwriters will be increased from 10.5% to 15.1% over the course of stream payments from the years 2018 to 2022], which is huge when you’re getting a fraction of a penny.”

She added, “So when those two things shifted, I put my music back up. Cause I want my checks. And not only do I want my checks, I deserve my checks. There’s still not gonna be enough. And there’s still so much that needs to be changed in the music industry for it to be humane, really. But I stood up for myself and I got some shift, and I want my checks, period.”

India Arie recalled Spotify’s initial interest in talking with her about her issues with the company. The singer-songwriter said she never had productive discussions with Spotify, which largely ignored her calls and requests.