February 28, 2024

Joe Rogan has secured a new multiyear deal with streaming giant Spotify. The new agreement would allow the popular “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast to be distributed across various platforms including YouTube, Amazon, and Apple. This a change from the previous deal’s terms, which made the show exclusive to the music streaming service.

“Spotify will work closely with Joe and his team to continue to maximize the audience of the show across platforms,” the company said in a prepared statement.

Spotify declined to provide Quartz with the specifics regarding the deal, however, the Wall Street Journal reported that it could be worth as much as $250 million. The deal’s structure includes an upfront minimum guarantee and an agreement to split ad sales revenue between Rogan and Spotify.

Rogan’s previous deal with Spotify tied his payment to audience targets, according to the Journal. His payout for that deal is estimated to result in between $180 million and $220 million by the end of 2024.

What this means for Spotify’s podcasting strategy

This news comes as Spotify has seemed to shift its strategy around podcasting with a stronger focus on ad revenue.

Overall podcast consumption on the platform has increased by 232% since Rogan’s podcast became exclusive on Spotify, the company said, with the added benefit of attracting more advertisers to the platform. Revenue for Rogan’s pod  has increased 45% in 2023 since 2021.

In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Spotify reported that ad sales accounted for about 13% of its total revenue in the three months ending Sept. 30, 2023. Ad-supported revenue increased 16% year-over-year to 447 million euros ($482 million) in that same period from 385 million euros ($415 million) the year prior.

The streaming platform is estimated to have invested about $1 billion in podcasts. In 2019, it acquired podcast studio Gimlet Media for about $230 million. A year later, it took over Bill Simmons’s sports media network for $200 million. 

The company also signed high-profile deals with the Barack and Michelle Obama for $25 million and former UK royals Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for $20 million. Both couples have both since parted with Spotify.

In December, the company canceled two critically acclaimed podcasts: Jonathan Goldstein’s “Heavyweight” and the Pulitzer prize-winning “Stolen” by journalist Connie Walker. That same month, Spotify laid off 17% of its workforce or about 1,500 jobs. This followed earlier cuts to the company’s podcast division in June when it laid off about 200 workers.

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