Spotify inks exclusive deal with 'The Joe Rogan Experience' podcast
Spotify today inked a multi-year exclusive deal with “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, a move that takes direct aim at podcast market leader Apple.
The show, which has never previously streamed on Spotify, will become available from September 1. Fans will still be able to listen to "The Joe Rogan Experience" on other platforms, but Spotify says the podcast will live exclusively on its platform “by the end of the year.”
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“The comedy talk series has long been the most-searched-for podcast on Spotify and is the leading show on practically every other podcasting platform,” Spotify said in an emailed statement to Ad Age. “And, like all podcasts on Spotify, it will remain free and accessible to all Spotify users."
“The Joe Rogan Experience” is the second-most popular podcast on Apple’s platform, according to Podcast Insights. Rogan's channel on YouTube also saw more than 100 million streams in March alone. By the end of the year, however, all of that content will exclusively live on Spotify’s platform, though some snippets of video will still be featured on YouTube. Spotify also has plans to incorporate a video element of the show, where users can toggle between audio and video through its app, but that feature is currently in testing and not widely available.
Spotify will begin selling ads in September through a partnership with PMM, which has a long track record of representing Rogan’s ad inventory. Although the show previously only had pre-roll ads, Spotify intends to now include mid-roll ads as well, the company told Ad Age.
Spotify slightly trails Apple as the leading podcast platform in the U.S., according to a report from MIDiA Research, an insights and analysis firm. “Though the difference is so small that it could be within margin of survey error,” MIDiA said in January.
The company has been significantly building out its podcast offering for the past two years. Last February, Spotify said it paid $196 million for Bill Simmons’ “The Ringer”; and in 2019, it acquired Gimlet Media (“Reply All,” “Homecoming,” and “Crimetown”) for $230 million. It also debuted “Streaming Ad Insertion” at CES in Las Vegas last year, which provides marketers the ability to dynamically insert host-read ads. All in, the company says it has more than 1 million podcasts on its platform.
Recent figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau show that more than $678 million was spent on podcast advertising in the U.S. last year, up 42 percent year over year. That figure is expected to climb to $1 billion next year, the IAB says.