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Joe Rogan’s Spotify Deal Is Worth $200 Million, Report Suggests

Even as the mob became more vocal demanding that Spotify cut ties with podcaster Joe Rogan, the media kept reminding everyone that the “Joe Rogan Experience” (JRE) host had a $100 million contract with the platform. Now it appears that number was wildly inaccurate.

A new report from The New York Times claims that the three-and-a-half-year deal is worth at least $200 million with the potential for additional payments. The report also notes how that sum is more than Spotify paid to buy major podcast production companies Gimlet Media and The Ringer. Apparently, those deals were each worth a little under $200 million.

Rogan’s show is Spotify’s most popular podcast in the United States and in 93 countries thanks to the millions of listeners who tune in for every episode. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek defended his decision to keep Rogan on the platform despite pleas for his cancellation both externally and internally. Ek told his employees that JRE contributed to the overall success of the company.

The CEO allegedly said, “Exclusivity does not equal endorsement,” basically washing his hands of JRE content and any controversies that arise from it. “To be frank, had we not made some of the choices we did, I am confident that our business wouldn’t be where it is today,” Ek reportedly told his employees.

The showdown continues between Rogan and his critics but so far, Spotify is surprisingly standing by him. It could have something to do with the 200 million reasons they have to avoid canceling their most popular and lucrative property.

Meanwhile, the JRE host turned down a $100 million, four-year offer from YouTube competitor Rumble. “No, Spotify has hung in with me, inexplicably, let’s see what happens,” Rogan said in response to the offer.

But the streaming platform has kowtowed to the mob at least a little. The Daily Wire reported that Spotify removed a total of 113 episodes of the podcast this month and had actually begun their relationship with Rogan by removing 42 episodes of the show. “There were a few episodes they didn’t want on their platform, and I was like ‘Okay, I don’t care,’” Rogan said at the time. 

Even the federal government has weighed in on the Rogan controversy. U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said that Big Tech firms should “do the right thing” to “root out” rampant “misinformation” about COVID-19. This stemmed from Rogan inviting people like Dr. Robert Malone onto the show to discuss his views on the coronavirus, which divulge from mainstream thought. 

During the height of the Rogan controversy, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said “all major tech platforms, and all major news sources for that matter, [should] be responsible and be vigilant to ensure the American people have access to accurate information on something as significant as COVID-19. That certainly includes Spotify.” 

As for Spotify’s willingness to add a content warning to episodes of Rogan’s, Psaki claimed it was “a positive step, but there’s more that can be done.”

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