Although he has dealt with back-to-back controversies over the past few years, Joe Rogan has just signed a massive new $250 million Spotify deal.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the Joe Rogan Experience podcast was the No. 1 podcast in the U.S. for the third quarter of 2023. Along with the $250 million price tag, Spotify is expanding the partnership by allowing the podcast to be on other streaming platforms. In response to the news, Spotify’s shares rose 1.5% on Friday, Feb. 2.
The Joe Rogan Experience first hit the Spotify platform in 2020 with a deal that was worth more than $100 million.
The latest Spotify deal comes less than two years after Joe Rogan’s podcast led to some music artists threatening to leave Spotify’s platform. The key issue was Rogan being accused of spreading vaccine misinformation on his podcast. “They can have Rogan or Young,” Neil Young stated at the time. “Not both.”
Joni Mitchell followed Young in announcing her departure from Spotify. “Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives,” Mitchell wrote on her website. “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”
Among those who left Spotify with Mitchell and Young were Nils Lofgren, Brené Brown, India Arie, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash.
Joe Rogan Spoke Out About Neil Young Leaving Spotify
After Neil Young and others left the Spotify platform over his podcast, Joe Rogan spoke out about the situation.
“I’m not trying to promote misinformation,” Rogan explained at the time. “I’m not trying to be controversial. I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than to just talk to people.”
Joe Rogan further pointed out that his podcast’s purpose is to hold conversations with others who have differing opinions. Although he’s had others question vaccines, Rogan was planning to have reputable infectious disease experts on his show as well.
“I wanted to hear what their opinion is,” Rogan said. He also said that he didn’t know if they were right. “I don’t know because I’m not a doctor; I’m not a scientist; I’m just a person who sits down and talks to people and has conversations with them.”
Neil Young clarified his reasoning for leaving Spotify. He said it wasn’t to censor Joe Rogan. “I support free speech, I have never been in favor of censorship. Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information.”
Young then added that he’s happy and proud to stand in solidarity with front-line healthcare workers.