Joe Rogan scores massive new podcast contract
US podcast king Joe Rogan has signed a contract renewal with Spotify that essentially allows him to have his cake and eat it, too – reportedly earning as much as $250 million from the streaming service and gaining the freedom to distribute his show on other platforms.
Spotify confirmed the new multiyear agreement on Friday, saying it will continue to stream ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ and will allow it to be carried by rival distributors. This means that the show – which is already rated as the most-watched podcast in the world – while being streamed exclusively on Spotify, will soon be opened up to listeners of services such as Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, and YouTube.
Rogan’s controversial show has ruffled feathers at Spotify since he joined the platform in 2020 in a deal valued at around $200 million. Elderly rock musician Neil Young removed his songs from the streaming service in 2022 and urged Spotify employees to quit after CEO Daniel Ek refused to cancel Rogan’s show for spreading “deadly misinformation” on Covid-19 vaccines.
Angry Spotify staffers also accused Rogan of being “transphobic,” but his show was reportedly making the platform too much money to be torpedoed. The podcast boasts an audience estimated at about 11 million people per episode, and Rogan has credited media pearl-clutching over his controversial content for attracting about 2 million of his subscribers.
Rather than counting on an exclusivity arrangement with Rogan’s podcast to help attract more subscribers, Spotify is betting on ad sales to generate more revenue. Rogan’s compensation will include a base fee and a share of advertising revenue. Spotify said it will work with Rogan to “continue to maximize the audience of the show across platforms.”
There was media speculation that Rogan would move to another platform when his Spotify contract expired. He turned down a $100 million, censorship-free offer to join Rumble in early 2022.