Spotify is making big moves to secure major podcast properties in an effort to expand their platform, and no move is bigger than the acquisition of the immensely popular podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.
The company has signed The Joe Rogan Experience to an exclusive multi-year licensing deal. The show will hit Spotify September 1, and become exclusive to the platform later in the year. Rogan is one of the biggest and most influential voices in the medium (and a major inspiration for LATV’s comedy podcast, Checkitow, Where Carlos Mencia and Joe Rogan saw a reignition of their bitter rivalry when Carlos Mencia reflected on how that confrontation affected his career.)
The podcast has dominated Apple’s podcasting charts and YouTube views for years. Rogan currently has 8.41 million subscribers on YouTube, where his videos regularly rack up more than a million views per show. A recent interview with Elon Musk has already generated more than 13 million views. As of this writing, the show is currently No. 2 on Apple’s charts and comprises three of the service’s top 10 episodes. “The talk series has long been the most-searched-for podcast on Spotify,” according to the service.
In an audio message attached to the release, Rogan noted, “It will be the exact same show. I will not be an employee of Spotify.” It’s a key point, not just in order to ease the minds of his rabid fan base, but because the podcast has also riled up many folks on social media by hosting controversial guests throughout the years. It’s something Rogan believes is key to “open dialogue and debate,” and plans to keep doing.
Aside from the major payday upside, Joe has had concerns over Youtube copyright strikes (which Rogan has admitted to receiving on the podcast) and vague, often inconsistently applied community guidelines, which have been used to censor and erase many videos dealing with controversial topics and figures. Therefore, it’s no surprise to those of us who have been JRE fans for years that he is pulling this switcheroo and leaving the popular video platform later this year.
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Announcement: the podcast is moving to @spotify! Starting on September 1 the podcast will be available on Spotify as well as all platforms, and then at the end of the year it will move exclusively to Spotify, including the video version. It will remain FREE, and it will be the exact same show. It’s just a licensing deal, so Spotify won’t have any creative control over the show. They want me to just continue doing it the way I’m doing it right now. We will still have clips up on YouTube but full versions of the show will only be on Spotify after the end of the year. I’m excited to have the support of the largest audio platform in the world and I hope you folks are there when we make the switch!
In addition to purchasing existing shows and podcast production companies, Spotify has also been creating its own in-house programs in a bid to wrest domination of the medium away from long-time leader, Apple. This acquisition represents a fairly massive shot across the bow, as diehard fans will soon have no other (legal) option for listening to the show. Details of the deal — including the duration — have not yet been disclosed. But we’ll make sure you get them as they are announced.
This story is developing – check back for updates.