The other day the world of podcasting experienced a huge shock when THE podcast host himself, Joe Rogan, announced his move exclusively to Spotify. What does that mean? Why was that such a shock? What are the implications? Let’s, in Eddie Bravo voice, look into it!
What is the Joe Rogan Podcast?
The Joe Rogan Experience (the actual name of the podcast) has been on the air now for around 11 years. The name is inspired by the Jimmy Hendrix Experience. The show usually consists of Joe Rogan, one or two guests, and ‘Young Jamie’, the producer.
Joe Rogan’s podcast seems to have been one of the first ones to embrace long form content (episodes are usually 2 – 3 hours long) and became famous due to Joe Rogan not only sticking to mainstream questions but being honest, investigative, and letting his guests explain their points of view by themselves without cutting them off.
Why is Joe Rogan so big?
There are several factors that contribute to the Joe Rogan Experience’s success, one of them, as mentioned before, is the long form content. In addition to that JRE also puts out highlight video bits of their long form videos which enables a new audience, that’s unfamiliar with the product, to dip into the experience without having to commit hours of their day right away.
Moreover Joe Rogan didn’t came out of nowhere as he used to be a media figure before (working on TV for ‘News Radio’ and ‘Fear Factor) starting his podcast venture. Furthermore he also is a stand up comedian and ‘the voice’ of the UFC where he is commentating the biggest events as a mix between color commentator and analyst. He even got a few shoutouts from fighters in the ring, the most famous one came by Nick Diaz which actually made it into the JRE intro.
Guest List of the Joe Rogan Experience
With over 10 years of airtime it’s almost impossible to list down all the guests Joe Rogan had. Some of the highlights with the highest view count on youtube include Elon Musk, Alex Jones, Edward Snowden, Bernie Sanders, Kevin Hart, Jordan Peterson, Robert Downey Jr, and you name it.
Some of the most recurring guests include comedy and MMA friends of Rogan himself such as Brendan Schaub, Bryan Callen, and Eddie Bravo.
The topics usually are widespread and Rogan mostly goes where the conversations take him which is another factor why he is so beloved amongst his fans. JRE is quite likely the only place where you can hear Bernie Sanders discuss politics and then see Elon Musk get high the next day.
Why the move to Spotify? What does it mean?
So far JRE has been available on all podcasting platforms as well as on youtube in full, and via best of clips. This will now change.
According to reports JRE made around 30 million USD last year and spotify now apparently put a 100 million USD offer on the table the secure Rogan exclusively. So for now JRE will be on all platforms, including spotify and when the new year comes around JRE will only be available on spotify, except for the short highlight clips that will still be posted on youtube.
The move indicates several changes to spotify. First it is now obvious that Spotify recognized podcasting as a legitimate business that can make them money and hence they are investing that much money into the number one podcast on the planet.
Secondly spotify now clearly also has to come up with a decent way of hosting videos as JRE has around 9 million subscribers on youtube with some of the most watched videos reeling in more than 20 million views per video. Spotify most certainly would want to cash in on that which might lead to a new, powerful, youtube alternative.
Keeping the highlights on youtube however is smart of course as that’s an additional way to keep reaching users who aren’t subscribed to spotify.
It is crucial to mention that Joe Rogan said Spotify will stream his product but has no influence on the content as this is what made JRE what it is, a place without too much PC. It remains to be seen how that goes though as other places made similar statements before (e.g. Netflix & China – just saying) but for now it all seems to be a smart deal for all the parties involved.
The only annoying thing that I could see happening right now is that non premium users on spotify would be bothered by all the ads in the free version but that’s just another reason to upgrade – so still a smart move on Spotify’s side.
Will this impact the rest of the podcasting universe? Maybe not immediately, but eventually I think so, yes. Podcasting has been moving into the spotlight over the past few years and now seeing this power move by spotify quite likely will set up a chain reaction of other services trying to secure other famous podcasts exclusively for their platform. It remains to be seen if that will be the case, or if spotify will now establish itself as the go-to source for podcasts. Whatever happens though, the future of podcasts is bright and I’m looking forward to seeing things are going to pan out.