The impact of the Joe Rogan / Spotify deal

joe rogan spotify deal
Joe Rogan sold his podcast to Spotify. What was the deal and what does it mean for podcasting in general? In this article we dive into the Joe Rogan / Spotify file.

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Joe Rogan signed an exclusive deal with Spotify for, rumour has it, $100,000,000... yes, that's 100 million dollars. 

So... Spotify buys the rights to a podcast for 100 million dollars.

Apart from the fact that it's Joe Rogan's doing... what does this mean? Is it a good deal for Joe Rogan? And is his podcast really worth $100 million? Why did Spotify make this investment and what return can they expect on it?

That's a lot of questions and therefore we went to investigate. We dived into the archives of the biggest news sites, found out what other podcasters thought of it and of course checked the official reports of Spotify and Joe Rogan himself.

Content of this article

Who is Joe Rogan?

Joe Rogan was born in 1967 in Newark, New Jersey and started his career as a stand-up comedian and Taekwondo teacher. But in order to make ends meet, Joe had numerous side jobs, such as construction work, driving limousines and doing odd jobs for a private detective.

His career as a comedian took off when Joe Rogan appeared in an item on MTV and MTV made him an offer he turned down. This offer caused Rogan to send his tapes to various television stations.

This led to a bidding war, after which Joe Rogan made a deal with the Disney network. This got him a role in the sitcom Hardball.

Furthermore, Joe Rogan has become a well-known name in the world of martial arts, where he regularly performed (and still performs) as a commentator.

Podcast - The Joe Rogan Experience

In 2009, Joe Rogan started his first podcast with friend and fellow comedian Brian Redban, with the concept beginning as two friends bullshitting behind a laptop.

Later, the two broke up. Although the two were good friends and got along well, the podcast didn't quite work out together. They both had a different style.

In 2009, Joe Rogan switched formats and began building the Joe Rogan experience as we know it today.

Fast forward...

In 2019, the Joe Rogan experience was downloaded an average of about 190,000,000 times per month. This made Joe Rogan the undisputed number 1 in America when it comes to reach.

The Joe Rogan experience is therefore by far the most popular podcast in the world.

The Joe Rogan / Spotify deal

On 19 May 2020, Joe Rogan announced on Instagram and YouTube that his podcast will be available exclusively on Spotify from 1 September 2020. The audio and the video. You can watch his announcement below. Below the video I explain why this is a brilliant deal for Spotify.

A podcast show... a one-man-show, for which a company pays 100 million... Who made the best deal? Joe Rogan or Spotify?

Has Spotify gone mad or is it a masterstroke?

I have to be very honest... my first reaction was... WTF! They are crazy! But when you start doing the maths, you can't help but conclude that it has been a masterstroke by Spotify.

Let's talk numbers.

Spotify is reportedly paying €100,000,000 for Joe Rogan's podcast. 

100 Million paid

Spotify is putting €100,000,000 on the table for the exclusive rights to the Joe Rogan experience.

1500 episodes

With this, Spotify enriches its podcast database with over 1500 podcast episodes.

190 million loyal listeners

Spotify gets 190 million podcast listeners on its platform just for the Joe Rogan experience. Every month.

From $175 per share to $264

Within days of the announcement, Spotify shares rose by nearly $100 per share.

10 Billion return

The deal cost Spotify $100 million. A lot of money. But Spotify increased its value by 10 billion.

Not exactly a bad deal for Spotify. For those who like to do the maths, here's the reasoning. Below are the share price movements of Spotify before and after the announcement.

Spotify share price after Joe Rogan deal

And that's just the short-term return. Because Spotify is in one fell swoop on the map when it comes to podcasts. In doing so, they have outsmarted Google and Apple, because a large group of followers will adopt Spotify as their default podcast player and directory.

What is the value of that? Who knows. But what is certain is that Spotify does not have to regret the deal.

The Joe Rogan deal

Here, my first reaction was the other way round. First holy moly... what a big deal. Well done, Joe! But after some calculations I began to doubt whether it was a world deal for Joe.

After all, Forbes estimates that Joe Rogan was already turning over 30 million in sales in 2019. And his podcast was certainly not in decline yet. So in fact, he got 2 - 3 year turnovers as a deal.

But then again... we don't have to feel sorry for Joe. It's definitely not a deal to be ashamed of. Besides... just turn down a deal of $100,000,000 because you think there's more in it 😉 .

But what does this deal mean for the podcasting world?

It means a few things and most importantly... good content is priceless. Well... unaffordable for most of us. For Spotify, Apple, Google and Facebook it is affordable. But you know what I mean.

Joe Rogan has also shown that sometimes you have to break the rules. With podcasts sometimes lasting three hours, he went against everyone's advice. He didn't have a polished image... he was the one who got Elon Musk to 'blow' on video. 

But the Joe Rogan / Spotify deal also shows that you don't need a complete media empire with hundreds of people to attract millions of followers and thus ultimately close a $100 million media deal. 

To conclude. Spotify's investment in podcasting is huge and makes it clear how Spotify sees the future of podcasting. And Spotify is not alone in investing in podcasting. 

Apple has been investing in podcasting for decades, Google is now also investing heavily in podcasts and traditional radio producers are also making more and more use of podcasting. 

Take-away for podcasters

Podcasting has a great future ahead of it if the trends continue and that means opportunities for you as a podcaster. A 100-million-dollar deal is for few, but that doesn't mean you can't benefit from this development.

In the meantime, countless podcasters are building very valuable personal brands, while others are already starting to make money with their podcasts.

It is only a matter of time before the first major media deals and podcast hosting will be a fact in the Netherlands.

That's it. Here's what you needed to know about the Joe Rogan / Spotify deal.

Nico Oud

Nico Oud

An entrepreneur with a mission. A mission to help entrepreneurs reach their goals. As a business coach I share my 20+ years of experience and with Springcast I help entrepreneurs to spread their message through podcasts. I'm also an avid podcast listener and producer.

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