Spotify has signed The Joe Rogan Experience for a multi-year, multi-million dollar exclusive licensing deal.
The podcast is anchored by comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan, taking the form of a talk show in which the host interviews a wide range of guests, some of them controversial.
In 2019, Rogan’s show was the most downloaded podcast on Apple devices and currently leads the Apple charts in Australia.
Rogan topped Forbes’ 2020 list of the highest-earning podcasters.
Swedish online streaming giant Spotify is looking to expand beyond a music streaming service to become an audio empire.
The company did not reveal how much it paid, but according to The Wall Street Journal, Spotify committed more than $US100 million ($152 million) for the deal, which will be available to both paid service subscribers and users of the platform’s free version.
Last year it acquired a number of podcast companies including The Ringer, Bill Simmons’ sports and culture site that boasts more than 30 podcasts.
With Rogan, Spotify is demonstrating its willingness to bring more podcast listeners to its platform through exclusive content.
Spotify’s content chief Dawn Ostroff told CNN Business last year about the company’s strategy for more exclusive content.
“[It] allows us to market in a more meaningful way [and] bring people onto the platform,” Ms Ostroff said.
Rogan said in an Instagram post that Spotify “won’t have any creative control over the show.”
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Announcement: the podcast is moving to @spotify! Starting on September 1 the podcast will be available on Spotify as well as all platforms, and then at the end of the year it will move exclusively to Spotify, including the video version. It will remain FREE, and it will be the exact same show. It’s just a licensing deal, so Spotify won’t have any creative control over the show. They want me to just continue doing it the way I’m doing it right now. We will still have clips up on YouTube but full versions of the show will only be on Spotify after the end of the year. I’m excited to have the support of the largest audio platform in the world and I hope you folks are there when we make the switch!
A post shared by Joe Rogan (@joerogan) on
The show was previously unavailable on Spotify. Rogan fans could listen to him on other platforms, such as Apple’s podcast app or YouTube. But Spotify could see that The Joe Rogan Experience had long been the podcast most searched for on its platform, the company said.
The show will debut on Spotify on September 1 and become exclusive later this year. Rogan also will make video episodes available on Spotify.
Rogan was previously best known for hosting NBC reality competition show Fear Factor in the early 2000s (which he reprised in 2011-12).
He currently has two stand-up specials on Netflix: 2018’s Strange Times and 2016’s Triggered.