Spotify has locked Joe Rogan into another “multiyear” contract worth as much as $250 million, per The Wall Street Journal, though the audio giant will no longer be the sole distributor of his popular podcast.
A spokesperson for Spotify told The Post that The Journal’s estimates were “incorrect,” but declined to elaborate on the financial terms of the deal.
However, the new licensing agreement does allow Spotify to sell ads for and distribute “The Joe Rogan Experience” (JRE) across several podcast platforms, including Apple and Amazon, as well as in a video format on YouTube, the spokesperson confirmed to The Post.
It also reportedly involves an upfront minimum guarantee, plus a revenue-sharing agreement based on ad sales, The Journal reported — a move designed to maximize Spotify’s audience and podcasting revenue model as the company looks to bolster its profits.
By distributing JRE more broadly, Spotify stands to make more money from ads, which will reach a larger audience.
Spotify announced the deal Friday alongside an interview with Rogan, who hosts the most-listened-to podcast globally that’s topped the company’s ranking, known as Spotify Wrapped, every year since 2020 — an impressive feat considering the average JRE runs for two hours and 37 minutes.
Representatives for Rogan did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
The Stockholm, Sweden-based audio giant inked its first deal with Rogan — who began his career in comedy — in 2020.
The exclusive licensing agreement the two parties signed at the time minted Rogan as much as $220 million, according to The Journal, as the 57-year-old’s earnings were tied to audience-number targets.
At the time, Spotify wasn’t shy in splashing out on its podcasting sector, though it proved to be a costly endeavor.
By June 2023, the company said it had to slash 200 jobs — roughly 2% of its workforce at the time — because it was spending too much money.
Shortly beforehand, Spotify reportedly cut an $18 million check for Meghan Markle to headline a podcast called “Archetypes,” though it struggled to nab a top spot on the Spotify charts, which was blamed on staffers’ error in judgment.
Markle’s multimillion-dollar payday was part of a larger, $1 billion bet on podcasting that has seen top podcasters — including Rogan, “Call Her Daddy” host Alex Cooper and “Anything Goes with Emma Chamberlain” star, Emma Chamberlain — bringing in significant windfalls as Spotify has had to reduce its headcount behind the scenes in an effort to accommodate its investment.
Over the course of 2023, Spotify implemented three rounds of layoffs that bid adieu to 2,300 staffers.
Before news of a new deal with Spotify was announced, there was speculation that Rogan — whose podcast had skyrocketed in popularity, drawing an estimated 11 million listeners per episode — would strike out on his own by creating a media company that would distribute the podcast as well as produce other content that would appeal to his fan base, analysts said.
Others speculated that Rogan would take his show to Elon Musk’s X platform after the two famously smoked pot on the podcast — and got the Tesla and SpaceX CEO in trouble for it.