Joe Rogan Deal With Spotify Is Allegedly For $200 Million

By Nathan Kamal | 3 months ago

joe rogan

In a new installment of the never-ending news about popular podcaster/seventh lead actor on 1990s NBC comedy NewsRadio, it turns out that the much publicized deal that Joe Rogan made with Spotify in 2020 may have been worth more than thought. Like, way more. When the audio streaming giant struck a contract with Rogan to exclusively distribute his incredibly successful podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, it was estimated that the three and a half year deal was for about $100 million. That was already one of the single largest deals in the still-nascent podcast industry. According to a new report from The New York Times, the deal may actually have been closer to $200 million dollars. That is a whole lot of money for what is essentially a rambling talk show. 

Joe Rogan began his career as a standup comedian in Boston, opting to tell jokes over his first inclination to become a kickboxer. After a stint in New York, he moved to Los Angeles and began appearing on sitcoms; most famously, he appeared on the critically beloved NewsRadio for its five seasons. On that show, he portrayed a character heavily based on himself, an office handyman named Joe who continually espoused conspiracy theories. This is what is known as foreshadowing. Following the cancellation of NewsRadio, he worked with the UFC as a fight commentator, hosted the popular NBC show Fear Factor (in which contestants won money for doing things they did not want to do), and released a novelty song. After returning to primarily working in standup for a number of years, he began The Joe Rogan Experience in 2009. A freeform discussion podcast (ie, aimless talking for an undetermined amount of time), it is currently one of the most popular shows in the world. 

joe rogan newsradio
Joe Rogan, Phil Hartman, and Andy Dick on NewsRadio

As such, it is no surprise that Spotify was eager to sign Joe Rogan to an exclusive deal. What is actually surprising is the sheer size of the deal to go unreported for so long. In addition to the alleged $200 million, Rogan also gained an even larger audience, as Spotify is one of the most popular streaming services in the world. Given all they had signed up for, it is increasingly clear why Spotify has been so steadfastly behind Rogan even as he grows more controversial. Rogan has been accused by numerous parties of offering a platform for dangerous misinformation on vaccines in the middle of a global pandemic, including an open letter by nearly 300 medical, scientific and educational personnel to provide clearer and better policies on such matters. More notoriously, music legend Neil Young recently asked Spotify to either remove his work from the platform, or Rogan’s, due to the alleged vaccine misinformation. Spotify chose to remain with Rogan, and other musicians have begun to do the same as Young. In a leaked audio recording, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek told employees in a town hall meeting that Rogan (and others “that many of us may not be proud to be associated with”) were necessary for them to achieve corporate dominance over other streaming services. So it looks like, Spotify has sunk the cost, and they’re sticking with it.