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Spotify has scored a major podcasting coup, inking a multiyear licensing deal to bring The Joe Rogan Experience exclusively to its audio streaming platform.
The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, means that Spotify eventually will become the exclusive home for the popular show, which regularly ranks as one of the top podcasts on Apple’s charts. The comedy talk series will remain free and accessible to all Spotify users. It will debut Sept. 1 on Spotify and be available on other platforms until it becomes exclusive to the streamer later this year.
“It will be the exact same show,” Rogan said on his Tuesday morning show in announcing the move. “The only difference will be it will now be available on the largest audio platform in the world.”
While Spotify will become the exclusive distributor of Joe Rogan Experience, the host/comedian will retain full creative control over the show and work independently from the music streaming giant, not as an employee.
Since its launch in 2009, the pioneering Joe Rogan Experience has built a loyal fan base as Rogan broaches topics including neuroscience, sports, comedy, health and infectious disease with humor. The Joe Rogan Experience also produces video episodes also to be available on Spotify as in-app vodcasts, a growing area of opportunity for the audio-first company.
Spotify has made podcasting a key arm of its audio strategy, acquiring studios Gimlet and Parcast in early 2019 and bringing pop culture and sports editorial brand The Ringer in-house earlier this year.
Inking exclusive licensing deals with major podcast players is central to its strategy to woo more listeners, like when Sirius brought Howard Stern to its platform in the early 2000s. Before signing Rogan, Spotify lured the comedy show Last Podcast on the Left. Part of the pitch, Spotify has 286 million users worldwide, and its algorithm-driven playlists and recommendation tools can help super-size the audience for a show like Rogan’s. Such agreements deal an especially big blow to rival Apple, which long has been the leading podcast distributor.
Rogan is repped by Chandra Keyes and Jeff Sussman at Jeff Sussman Management, Matt Lichtenberg at Level Four Business Management, and attorney Seth Horwitz at Schreck Rose Dapello Adams Berlin & Dunham LLP.
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