Spotify has inked a new multi-year partnership deal with controversial podcast host Joe Rogan, whose hugely popular show will soon also be available on competing platforms including YouTube and Apple Podcasts.
Spotify announced the renewed partnership in a post Friday on the company's corporate blog. A Spotify exclusive under a previous multi-million-dollar deal called “The Joe Rogan Experience” from 2020.
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the new deal on Friday, estimated the new deal would be worth $250 million over its multi-year term. It cited unnamed people familiar with the matter. The deal includes an upfront minimum guarantee, along with a revenue sharing agreement based on ad sales, the newspaper reported.
In an email to The Associated Press on Saturday, Spotify declined to comment on the financial details of the deal, including the estimated value.
Over the years, Rogan has developed a massive audience that listens to his long, elaborate interviews with a variety of guests, including comedians, athletes, scientists and conspiracy theorists.
“There's no script of what we're going to talk about, and it all happens in real time,” Rogan said in a Spotify blog post. And continued it.
The show is consistently Spotify's most popular podcast but is often a source of controversy for the company. Notably, Spotify faced tremendous pressure in 2022 over Rogan's anti-coronavirus vaccine comments and use of racial slurs, with some musicians including Neil Young pulling their music from the stage in protest.
In February 2022, Spotify CEO Daniel Eck condemned the host's racist language, but said “I don't believe silencing Joe is the answer”.
Spotify shares rose $3.51, or about 2%, to $222.47 on Friday.
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