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Conservative organization Prager University banned from advertising on Spotify

Organization will not say why PragerU was banned

Spotify, the popular streaming music platform, has banned the conservative advocacy group Prager University from advertising on its website.

Prager University is not an actual school; rather, it’s an organization that produces short instructional videos on numerous political topics. Its motto is “Short Videos. Big Ideas.” PragerU currently boasts well over 1.9 million subscribers on YouTube. A number of its videos have gone highly viral; its explainer video on the electoral college, for instance, has received over 50 million views.

The organization recently tried running advertisements on Spotify, only for the streaming service to halt the ads a few weeks into the arrangement. In an email obtained by The College Fix, Spotify told PragerU: “Our policy team has re-reviewed the ads that you have submitted through Ad Studio and determined that the content of the ads do not comply with our editorial policies.”

“On further review of your website, there are additional compliance concerns with the content of the site which listeners of the ads are directed to,” the company said.

“Our policy team has made the decision to stop all existing ads and not approve any new ads coming through in the future.”

Craig Strazzeri, the chief marketing officer of PragerU, told The College Fix that Spotify has refused to clarify why they were banned from advertising on the site, though he said it was likely because his organization is conservative. Spotify did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Fix.

“Since Spotify has still not identified which specific policy our ads did not comply with, it seems clear that the reason they have banned us from advertising is because we are conservative. Unfortunately, there is an ongoing trend among big tech companies to silence conservative voices,” Stazzeri said.

“That being said, we’re fighters at PragerU and we won’t take this lightly.”

Strazzeri said that PragerU has seen “hundreds and hundreds of our followers cancel their Spotify membership in reaction to this.”

Shortly after the ban, PragerU posted the audio ads on its YouTube channel, asking its viewers: “Do you think these ads should be banned?” It is not immediately clear which of the ads is objectionable, or how. One of the ads states that users should come to PragerU’s website “to find answers to life’s biggest issues.” Another criticizes feminist ideology. A third advertises PragerU as “the best thinkers, presenting their best ideas, in five minutes.” That ad quotes Ben Shapiro, who critiques the liberal concept of “intersectionality.”

Strazzeri said that the problem is endemic to big technology firms.

“Unfortunately, big tech companies are easily influenced by the left and groups like the [the Southern Poverty Law Center], which has lead to the increase in censorship of conservative voices online. Nearly every big tech company has acknowledged that they use the SPLC to determine what types of content to remove and that is a really scary thing,” Strazzeri said.

He said that PragerU is considering advertising options on other streaming services.

“Pandora reached out to us immediately after hearing about Spotify banning our ads and we are currently exploring advertising with them.”

MORE: University reportedly cites ‘security threat’ to disrupt Dennis Prager event

MORE: PragerU sues YouTube, Google for blacklisting its conservative videos

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About the Author
Chase Watkins -- Utah Valley University