Joe Rogan, comedian and host of one of the world’s most popular podcasts, brings his show to Spotify. The Joe Rogan experience will soon become a Spotify exclusive, which means that full audio and video files for the episodes will only be available through the platform from the end of the year. So far, Rogan’s show has never been available on Spotify, let alone on any platform.
The show will be available on Spotify worldwide from September 1 and will become exclusive shortly thereafter. Listeners won’t have to pay to access the episodes, but they’ll have to become Spotify users. Spotify said in a press release that Rogan retains creative control over its show. He did not reveal how much he spent on the transaction. The company will also work with an advertising agency to jointly sell ads against the program. Rogan said last year that its show reached around 190 million downloads per month.
Rogan’s YouTube channel will remain live, but will not contain full episodes. There may be clips or other additional content that could benefit from YouTube’s search algorithm and cause people to listen to full episodes on Spotify.
This is a massive acquisition for Spotify, which has made podcasting a priority. He acquired Gimlet Media, Anchor and Parcast last year, to begin with, and then signed other agreements exclusive to Spotify. He works exclusively with the production company of Obamas and undertakes to deal with other big names, like Joe Budden and Amy Schumer, and acquired The Ringer.
Although exclusive deals appear to be the primary strategy for acquiring the company’s listeners, Spotify did not immediately transfer Gimlet’s shows to an exclusive model. Instead, it produced incidental and exclusive content such as Gimlet Academy and extra Reply to all episodes while keeping existing broadcasts widely available. In this case, the company seems to act relatively quickly to make Rogan a Spotify only offer.
Spotify’s podcast ambitions have always been aimed directly at Apple, which until now has been the biggest name in podcast readers. But with Rogan’s approval, Spotify also has another new target: YouTube. When it started testing its video podcasting functionality earlier this month, it did so with the support of two popular YouTubers. Rogan is one of the most popular YouTube podcasters, often with millions of people watching each episode, so losing your voice on the platform is a major success for YouTube and a big gain for Spotify.