Monday, February 5, 2024

Joe Rogan No Longer Exclusive to Spotify

Ashley Carman (2021, Hacker News):

Spotify hoped he would bring much of that audience along with him when he signed exclusively to the platform in 2020 in a reported $100 million deal, giving it the reach and power needed to take over the podcasting industry. Although Spotify hasn’t given specific numbers detailing Rogan’s listenership since he came on board, it has repeatedly boasted about his success. The company confirmed that he quickly became the platform’s biggest podcaster after jumping to Spotify.


However, a new data investigation by The Verge finds that the powerful podcaster’s influence has waned since he went behind Spotify’s wall. His show has declined as a hype vehicle for guests, and Rogan’s presence as a mainstay in the news has plummeted.

Ashley Carman (2022):

Spotify reportedly paid Joe Rogan at least $200 million to commit to podcasting on the platform exclusively for three and a half years, according to a New York Times report.

Ariel Shapiro (Hacker News):

Joe Rogan, podcasting’s biggest star, has renewed his deal with Spotify. The new multiyear deal will allow his show, which is currently exclusive to the streamer, to be distributed to YouTube, Apple, and other podcasting platforms.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by Spotify, but The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal is estimated to be worth $250 million, including revenue share.


Even while being exclusive to Spotify, Rogan managed to have the No. 1 podcast in the world. With the new arrangement, during an election year, no less, it seems likely his listenership will only grow. Once his show gets wide distribution, Spotify will no longer have any podcasts exclusive to the platform.

There are a bunch of unknowns with this. Spotify says the $250M figure is incorrect. And we don’t know the number of years. Is Spotify getting some of the YouTube revenue? Do they control the distribution on other platforms? Regardless, it makes sense that Rogan would want wider distribution—apparently a traditional podcast with RSS again. Spotify’s strategy is not totally clear but certainly seems to have shifted.

Podnews (via Hacker News):

Spotify tells Podnews that The Joe Rogan Experience podcast saw a 45% increase in revenue in 2023; and since the podcast went exclusive to Spotify, overall podcast consumption on the platform has increased by 232%.


Spotify does still have exclusives. The Riddler: Secrets in the Dark is described as a “Spotify Audio Series”, and is not available outside of the Spotify platform. It’s part of Spotify’s multi-year agreement with DC and Warner Bros. We did note at the time that the press release studiously avoided using the word “podcast”.


Update (2024-02-07): Dare Obasanjo:

Spotify: 602 million users of which 236 million are paying subscribers and it lost €75M last quarter.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

Having an RSS feed does not make something a traditional podcast, it makes it a podcast. It is simply not a podcast without an RSS feed with the proper media tags.

Also I went to this “podnews” site and saw no news about iPods. What a ripoff.

In all seriousness though, how do people in the podcast “industry” not know the origin of the podcast name and what the pod part stands for?

@Brad It’s like “hacker,” where the rest of the world has decided on a new definition. Everyone who doesn’t know the term “RSS,” and even some who do, thinks of any spoken content not coming through a channel as a podcast, hence JRE being the “#1 podcast” despite only working in one app.

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