Joe Budden, one of Spotify’s largest exclusive podcasters, is leaving the platform. He and his show will no longer be exclusive to Spotify after September 23, he says in his most recent episode, while apparently suggesting that it may not be available on Spotify at all.
“On September 23, I can’t tell you where this podcast will be,” he says. “But as it is, I can tell you where it won’t be, and that’s Spotify. “
He takes this announcement as an opportunity to burn Spotify down and detail his history with the company, which in the years since signing its deal has grown into a strong competitor in the podcast arena. He claims his show exceeded Spotify’s audience expectations by 900%, to the point that his listeners crushed the platform.
Still, he says he never received a bonus and the company would not allow him and his team to take vacation days over Christmas and New Years because it would have forced them to miss out. two episodes. Although the company doesn’t pay them any real bonuses, it offered to give them Rolexes instead, to say that the watches they chose were too expensive. Then he suggested that Spotify give his fans money for Christmas instead. The company refused.
“It was the first time that I realized that Spotify was looting,” he says. “You plunder the podcast audience, and you continued to plunder every step of the way without any consideration for [the fans.] »
He says that compared to two years ago when he signed to Spotify, podcasters can find better deals from multiple companies, and he suggests that Spotify is only interested in finding popular new shows instead. than to feed the podcasting “ecosystem”.
“Not everyone is looking to feed the soil, some are just looking to take the fruit,” he says.
It claims to be the guinea pig of Spotify’s podcast ambitions as it was already established and brought audiences to Spotify. He has proven that the exclusives model can work for the company, he says.
“Spotify never cared about this podcast individually,” he says. “Spotify only cared about our contribution to the platform.” The company wanted him to read the ads, and he refused, making it one of the only shows not monetized on the platform.
He says he and Spotify don’t agree on what “podcasting takes us for the next five years.”
“I am not going to succumb to a bad deal that does not work for the people who created this path.”
Broadly speaking, it calls into question the entire podcasting system and what a podcast feed is worth, especially since musicians and record labels have already established those terms with streaming platforms. This number, for podcasters, is still not standardized.
Budden isn’t the first Spotify associated podcaster to talk about the industry. The hosts of The Nod, which became a Spotify-owned show after the company acquired Gimlet Media, spoke out in June on its issues with the show’s ownership. Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings say they built their show and audience but didn’t own it.
“At the end of the day, investing in someone’s talent is not the same as having the talent yourself,” Luse said. The edge. “It’s very strange that [Spotify and Gimlet] are the only people who can claim ownership of[[[[The Nod and its segments]. “
Spotify has made industry headlines signing big names like Kim Kardashian West, Joe Rogan and Michelle Obama to exclusive shows. The terms of all of these offers are unclear, but at least part of the strategy is for Spotify to sell ads against these shows, which allows it to generate additional revenue. (The company includes ads on podcasts, even though premium subscribers are listening.) It needs big shows to sell big ad business.
Podcasting has clearly become a potentially huge money maker, but some web hosts want more ownership and payment. Budden doesn’t say if he has any other exclusive deals and if he thinks this is the future of podcasting. It paved the way for the exclusive model and seems to be abandoning it, at least for now.