Joe Rogan inks deal with Spotify, makes ‘JRE’ an exclusive podcast

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Image: YouTube | Joe Rogan Experience

Spotify announced it would become the exclusive home of “The Joe Rogan Experience” later this year on Tuesday. The Wall Street Journal reports the multiyear licensing deal is worth $100 million. Though the 11-year-old podcast’s library will be moving to the streaming service, the comedian will keep his popular YouTube channel active.

Joe Rogan Comes to Spotify

Neither Spotify nor Rogan have disclosed in-depth details about their new agreement, including its length.

However, “The Joe Rogan Experience” will become a platform exclusive near year’s end after it makes its debut September 1 on the service. The program will also retain its accessibility as it will be available to Spotify’s free and premium users. The show will also keep the unfiltered tone that has made it one of the planet’s most popular podcasts as Rogan will retain full creative control.

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“We’re going to be working with the same crew doing the exact same show,” Rogan said in an announcement video. “The only difference will be it will now be available on the largest audio platform in the world.”

Spotify will work with an outside advertising agency to sell commercials for the program. Currently, Rogan counts biotechnology company 23andMe, grooming brand Dollar Shave Club, and employment marketplace ZipRecruiter among his sponsors. Here’s hoping Build-a-Bear pays to have one of its commercials appear on the relentlessly irreverent video and audio series.

The Verge notes the “Joe Rogan Experience” YouTube channel, which presently boasts 8.42 million subscribers, will stay up but will discontinue hosting full episodes.

Spotify will likely enjoy a boost in overall listenership once it becomes the exclusive home of Rogan’s show. While Spotify has 286 million active users, Rogan said his program received 190 million downloads alone in April 2019.

Spotify’s Interest in Podcasts

Although best known as a music streaming service, Spotify has taken a significant interest in podcasting content in recent years.

Last February, the platform paid $230 million to acquire Gimlet Media, an audio network that features news programs, documentary series, and culture shows. A few months later, the firm inked a multiyear licensing deal with Higher Ground Productions, a production company headed by Barack and Michelle Obama.

Spotify also spent more than $100 million to acquire a scripted audio network called Parcast last year.

Earlier this year, the streaming giant shelled out between $141 million to $196 million to buy The Ringer, a site operated by ESPN commentator Bill Simmons. In addition to hosting written content, Simmons’ platform maintains a network of 30 sports and pop culture podcasts.

The service has also dedicated its resources to making the podcasting field more lucrative. At the 2020 Consumer Electronics Expo, the firm unveiled a tool that captures extensive user data and gauges the impact of non-music audio ads.

Spotify’s capital expenditures are lavish, but the Swedish corporation is pursuing a market that generates $678 million a year. If a large portion of Joe Rogan’s audience follows the commentator to his new platform, his $100 million deal will be a bargain.

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