new york –
Spotify has signed a new multi-year partnership with controversial podcast host Joe Rogan, whose hugely popular show will soon be available on competing platforms including YouTube and Apple Podcasts.
Spotify announced the new partnership Friday in a post on its corporate blog. Under the previous multi-million dollar deal, “The Joe Rogan Experience” would have been exclusive to Spotify starting in 2020.
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the new deal on Friday, estimated the new contract’s value to be $250 million over multiple years. The report cited an anonymous person familiar with the matter. The deal includes a guaranteed minimum upfront payment, as well as a revenue-sharing agreement based on advertising sales, the paper said.
Spotify could not be reached for comment Saturday.
Over the years, Rogan has amassed a huge audience that listens to his long and wide-ranging interviews with guests as diverse as comedians, athletes, scientists, and conspiracy theorists.
“There’s no script for what I’m going to say, it’s all happening in real time,” Rogan said in a Spotify blog post. “It’s real, organic conversations with people that I’m having fun with. It’s something we can all relate to and it’s something we all love. These conversations have shaped my way of thinking about life immeasurably. I have changed it more than ever before, and I continue to do so.”
The show is consistently the most popular podcast on Spotify, but it’s also a frequent source of controversy for the company. Most notably, Spotify came under intense pressure in 2022 to remove Rogan over his comments about coronavirus vaccines and his use of racial slurs, prompting some musicians, including Neil Young, to protest. The song was removed from the platform as a result.
In February 2022, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek condemned the host’s racist comments, but said, “I don’t think silencing Joe is the answer.”
Spotify stock rose $3.51, or nearly 2%, to close at $222.47 per share on Friday.