A Big Podcaster Just Struck a Deal for 9 Figures

Joe Rogan's show is moving exclusively to Spotify for a reported $100M
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2020 9:02 AM CDT
Podcaster Joe Rogan Just Struck a $100M Deal
A 2013 photo of Joe Rogan.   (AP Photo/Starpix, Andrew Toth)

Joe Rogan has one of the most popular podcasts in the world, and Forbes figures he made about $30 million last year off it. That was enough to make him the highest-paid podcaster of 2019, but Rogan is now getting a very large raise. The Joe Rogan Experience is moving exclusively to Spotify later this year in a deal the Wall Street Journal estimates to be worth $100 million. Coverage:

  • Rogan: He's a 52-year-old multi-hyphen kind of guy: a comedian, actor, TV host, and mixed-martial arts commentator known for his work with the UFC. His podcast launched in 2009, and on it Rogan "broaches topics including neuroscience, sports, comedy, health and infectious disease with humor," per BillBoard. (It was on Rogan's show that Elon Musk famously smoked a joint.)
  • The move: The JRE begins the move to Spotify in September and will be fully exclusive by the end of the year. Those who don't subscribe to Spotify will be able to hear it for free on the ad-supported version, says Rogan. Rogan has said his show—including a video format, or "vodcast," on YouTube—gets 190 million downloads a month, reports the Verge.

  • His promise: It will be the "exact same show," Rogan says in a YouTube video. "I will not be an employee of Spotify." The company, too, says he is retaining creative control. When the move is complete, video clips of the show may remain on YouTube, but the full versions will be on Spotify only, notes the Los Angeles Times.
  • Like Howard: "It’s the Howard Stern move," an industry analyst tells Forbes. Stern made an estimated $93 million in 2019 thanks to his exclusive deal with Sirius XM for his radio show.
  • For Spotify: The podcasting industry is expanding quickly, and Spotify is moving aggressively to establish its presence. The company previously bought Gimlet Media and Bill Simmons' The Ringer, both big players in the podcasting field, per CNN. The Journal notes that Spotify "became the single biggest podcasting platform earlier this year," according to an industry research firm.
  • More on Rogan: For a deeper dive into Rogan, check out a 2015 profile in Rolling Stone, which seeks to answer the question, "How Joe Rogan Went From UFC Announcer to 21st-Century Timothy Leary."
(Read more Joe Rogan stories.)

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