Spotify renews Joe Rogan podcast with multi-year deal

"The Joe Rogan Experience" has topped the list of the world's most listened-to podcasts for four straight years (Carmen Mandato)
"The Joe Rogan Experience" has topped the list of the world's most listened-to podcasts for four straight years (Carmen Mandato)
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Audio streaming platform Spotify announced Friday it has renewed its partnership with Joe Rogan for his flagship chart-topping podcast.

Sweden-based Spotify did not provide financial terms of the deal, but said a Wall Street Journal report that the agreement was worth as much as $250 million was "incorrect."

It described the agreement as a ""multi-year partnership."

Rogan signed his first exclusive contract with Spotify in May 2020, which the Journal valued at around $200 million.

"The Joe Rogan Experience" topped the list of the world's most listened-to podcasts on Spotify in 2023, for the fourth year running.

Spotify also announced the podcast would once again be available on other platforms, including Apple, Amazon and YouTube, ending four years of exclusivity on its streaming application.

- Early adopter -

Rogan was an early adopter of the podcasting format in 2009, and built up a loyal fan base that is still unrivaled in its size and enthusiasm.

"The Joe Rogan Experience" is a loosely structured show, often lasting for more than three hours, during which Rogan hosts a freewheeling and informal conversation with guests.

Over the years, Rogan -- an atypical character who is part comedian, part former kickbox and taekwondo champion -- has hosted prominent guests including Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg and Bernie Sanders, along with doctors, martial arts fighters, comedians and mathematicians.

He has been repeatedly accused of giving a platform to conspiracy theories, notably around Covid-19 and vaccines.

In early 2022, several musicians requested that their tracks be removed from Spotify in protest at its support for Rogan, including American-Canadian artist Neil Young and the American singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

In response to the outpouring of criticism, Spotify added mentions and links guiding users to factual, scientifically sourced information.

A few days later, Rogan was made to issue a public apology after using a racial slur repeatedly on his show.

However, the multiple controversies have failed to dampen enthusiasm for "The Joe Rogan Experience," which remains more popular than ever.

Spotify's 2020 deal with Rogan was part of a podcast offensive designed to consolidate its position as the world's leading audio content platform.

According to the company, podcast consumption has increased by more than 230 percent since then.

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