The Rogan-hosted comedy talk-show series will debut on Spotify on Sept. 1, 2020, on a nonexclusive basis — with all episodes dating back to 2009 — before becoming exclusive to the platform later in 2020 under the multiyear licensing deal.
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With Rogan, Spotify has landed one of the podcasting biz’s whales. It currently ranks as the No. 2 most popular show on Apple Podcasts (after Barstool Sports’ “Call Her Daddy,” whose hosts have been the focus of an ongoing controversy), according to Apple. A source familiar with the deal said Rogan became sold on Spotify’s ability to build his audience worldwide, after initially resisting distributing the podcast on the platform because he saw it as primarily a music service and because Spotify wasn’t offering to pay enough in licensing fees.
In addition to the podcast, JRE also produces corresponding video episodes, which will also be available on Spotify as in-app “vodcasts.”
Rogan announced the deal on social media Tuesday, touting Spotify as “the largest audio platform in the world.” Shares of Spotify shot up more than 5% after the news broke, closing up 8.4% for the day to $175.03 per share, its highest closing price since October 2018.
“The podcast is moving to @spotify!” he wrote on Instagram. “It will remain FREE, and it will be the exact same show. It’s just a licensing deal, so Spotify won’t have any creative control over the show. They want me to just continue doing it the way I’m doing it right now.”
Rogan said there will still be clips from the show shared on YouTube “but full versions of the show will only be on Spotify after the end of the year. I’m excited to have the support of the largest audio platform in the world and I hope you folks are there when we make the switch!”
Rogan’s deal with Spotify is worth more than $100 million, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing one anonymous source.
Since its launch in 2009, “The Joe Rogan Experience” has built a large, loyal and engaged fanbase tuning in to hear his discussions with a range of guests, including comedians, actors, musicians, MMA fighters, authors, artists and more. He’s also courted controversy, hosting fringe far-right guests like Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes and conspiracy-monger Alex Jones.
Under the distribution deal with Spotify, “The Joe Rogan Experience” will be available to Spotify’s 286 million active monthly users free with ads (and without ads for premium subscribers). According to Spotify, “The Joe Rogan Experience” has long been the most-searched-for podcast on its service. The addition of “JRE” stands to accelerate Spotify’s long-range podcast ambitions, which has included acquisitions of Gimlet Media, Bill Simmons’ The Ringer, Parcast and Anchor.
Rogan, a stand-up comedian and actor, was previously best known for hosting NBC reality competition show “Fear Factor” in the early 2000s (which he reprised in 2011-12). The Boston native also appeared in NBC sitcom “NewsRadio.” Currently, he has two stand-up specials on Netflix: 2018’s “Strange Times” and 2016’s “Triggered.”
Rogan is repped by Chandra Keyes and Jeff Sussman at Jeff Sussman Management, Matt Lichtenberg at Level Four Business Management, and attorney Seth Horwitz at Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham.
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