Spotify inked a new multiyear partnership deal for controversial podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which is said to be worth up to $250 million. Under the new pact, Rogan’s popular show — which has been exclusively available on Spotify for three years — will now be available on other audio platforms.
In addition to continued availability on Spotify, Rogan’s show will soon be available on additional services, including Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and YouTube. The move comes under Spotify’s revised strategy to give up exclusive streaming rights in favor of broader distribution, which the company kicked off in 2023. The Wall Street Journal first reported Spotify’s $250 million renewal with Rogan.
More from Variety
Spotify said it will work closely with Rogan and his team “to continue to maximize the audience of the show across platforms.” Under the new pact, Spotify will handle distribution and ad sales for the podcast. Rogan will receive a guaranteed minimum fee from Spotify as well as a cut of advertising revenue.
“The Joe Rogan Experience” became exclusive to Spotify under a 2020 deal, which sources confirmed was worth more than $200 million over 3.5 years. Rogan’s show has ranked as the most popular show on the platform for the past three years.
“For more than three years, ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ has consistently been the No. 1 podcast across the globe,” Spotify said. Per Edison Research’s Q3 2023 survey of most listened-to podcasts, “The Joe Rogan Experience” ranked No. 1 for the period. In addition, “JRE” was the No. 2 most listened-to podcast for women 13 and older in the U.S., according to Edison.
The comedian-actor turned podcaster regularly invites provocative guests on “JRE” — and Rogan and Spotify have faced a backlash over some of the show’s material. That included a boycott of Spotify by several music artists including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell in early 2022 over Rogan’s anti-vax episodes.
Rogan also has drawn fire for promoting “antisemitic tropes” and over his comment to guest Tom Segura that “Maybe you should just go shoot the homeless people.” In February 2022, Spotify pulled 70 episodes of “The Joe Rogan Experience” in which the host had uttered the N-word; Rogan called the backlash over his use of the slur “a political hit job.”
“The Joe Rogan Experience” originally launched Dec. 24, 2009, and has produced more than 2,200 episodes, each averaging 2-3 hours in length. Notable guests have included environmental epidemiologist Dr. Shanna Swan, whose work examines the impact of chemical exposure on reproductive health and child development; physician Peter Attia, known for his work in longevity medicine; retired U.S. Navy SEAL and ultra-endurance athlete and author David Goggins; psychedelic research pioneer Amanda Fielding; and criminal justice reform advocate and civil rights attorney Josh Dubin.
Other prominent guests have included Dave Chappelle, Dwayne Johnson, Robert Downey Jr., Quentin Tarantino, Miley Cyrus, Snoop Dogg, Jewel, Eddie Izzard, Mike Tyson, Post Malone and Zach Bryan. “I never do a podcast just because a person is popular,” Rogan said in an interview with Spotify. “It’s always from a place of ‘I think it would be cool to talk to that person.'”
Spotify’s new deal with Rogan comes after the company recently revised terms to broadly distribute another popular podcast, Alex Cooper’s “Call Her Daddy,” which also had previously been a Spotify exclusive. According to Spotify, “Call Her Daddy” is the No. 1 podcast among women listeners on the platform.
Best of Variety