Spotify has secured the exclusive rights to the Joe Rogan Experience, one of the world’s most listened to podcasts. The comedian attracts high profile guests such as Elon Musk to chats that last for around 1-3 hours.
Starting later this year, all full audio and video episodes of the show will only be available through the Spotify platform. This applies to all new and all historical shows since the podcast began in 2009. Rogan’s YouTube channel will post some content, but not full shows.
The value of the whole deal was not disclosed.
The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) will come to Spotify starting on 1 September before becoming exclusive to the platform “later this year”, according to a press release. At the time of writing, JRE was number two on the Top 100 Apple Podcasts chart in the US, where it has previously sat comfortably at number one. For it to soon not be available on Apple’s platform is a big deal, and a huge win for Spotify.
Until recently, podcasts have been widely available on every possible platform. Apple’s Podcast app has dominated use thanks to the proliferation of iPhones in the West, but Spotify is aggressively moving to secure exclusive podcasts to lure people to its platform. It recently acquired sports and culture site The Ringer and all of its incredibly popular podcast titles.
Given that it already competes directly with Apple Music for music subscriptions, its interesting to see Spotify combine music and podcasts into one app, unlike rivals. For listeners, it fragments the experience. If you currently use one app to listen to all your podcasts and it’s not Spotify, you’ll soon have to use Spotify as well if you want to listen to JRE.
Of course, Spotify’s goal is to get you to move to its platform for all your pod needs.
Spotify said, “like all podcasts and vodcasts on Spotify, it will remain free and accessible to all Spotify users.” This means that Rogan’s show will be available on the free tier of the platform, but you’ll have to sign up to the service.
“This partnership represents a major addition to the already unrivaled slate of exclusive audio content available to audiences on Spotify,” it added.
The move is bound to anger podcast fans. The podcast model is built around free audio that creators must advertise on to make money, but listeners can listen anywhere. Now, Spotify is courting some of the biggest names in the business, no doubt with a substantial financial incentive, but forcing listeners to go to specific sources. Despite this, it may prove a way for less popular podcasts to get a leg up as the model evolves.