Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Joe Rogan: Podcasting's $100 Million Dollar Man

Joe Rogan is taking his podcast exclusively to Spotify Technology SA in a licensing deal worth more than $100 million, according to The Wall Street Journal citing a person familiar with the matter.

The licensing agreement is one the largest such deals in the rapidly growing podcast business.

The comedian, television host and mixed martial arts commentator has become one of the most influential and lucrative podcast hosts in recent years, especially with his popular “vodcast”—video podcast—format on YouTube.

Rogan, 52 years old, had so far withheld his podcast from Spotify, saying the streaming service doesn’t pay enough and he had been generating significant revenue on other services such as Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube. His full library, dating back 11 years, is to hit the service Sept. 1, and become exclusive to Spotify after that, before the end of the year. His video podcasts, which will also appear on Spotify, will no longer be available on YouTube.

Spotify has spent hundreds of millions of dollars acquiring entire companies, including Gimlet Media and Bill Simmons’s the Ringer. The deal with Mr. Rogan is a multiyear licensing agreement for an amount of time that couldn’t be learned. It will likely be worth more than $100 million based on milestones and performance metrics, according to the person familiar.

Launched in 2009, the Joe Rogan Experience has built an avid fan base discussing wide-ranging topics from neuroscience, sports and health to comedy and culture. His show consistently ranks at the top of Apple Podcast’s rankings, sitting at No. 2 on Tuesday.

Rogan’s many sponsors include 23andMe, Dollar Shave Club and ZipRecruiter.

“We’re going to be working with the same crew doing the exact same show,” Mr. Rogan said as he announced the deal on his podcast Tuesday. “The only difference will be it will now be available on the largest audio platform in the world.”

He also assured fans the podcast will still be available free on both Spotify’s ad-supported and premium tiers.

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