Controversial podcast host Joe Rogan signs reported $250 million deal with Spotify

Joe Rogan Credit: AP

Controversial podcast host Joe Rogan has reportedly signed a multi-million dollar deal with music giant Spotify.

The commentator and comedian, who has previously sparked backlash over his comments on the Covid-19 vaccine, will continue to produce his show 'The Joe Rogan Experience' on the music platform.

Spotify, the world’s largest audio streaming service, announced the renewed partnership in a post on the company's corporate blog on Friday.

Rogan's show has consistently been the platform's most popular podcast but also a frequent cause of controversy for the company.

Most notably, Spotify came under huge pressure in 2022 to drop Rogan over his anti-coronavirus vaccine comments and use of racial slurs, with some musicians, including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, pulling their music from the platform in protest.

His podcast has hosted a number of controversial figures, including members of the US far-right group the Proud Boys, and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.

Spotify has removed some episodes featuring some of his most controversial guests from the platform.

Spotify is the world’s largest audio streaming service. Credit: PA

In February 2022, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek denounced the host's racist language but said: "I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer.”

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the new deal on Friday, estimated that the new contract was worth as much as $250 million (around £197 million) over its multiyear term. It cited unnamed people familiar with the matter.

The pact involves an upfront minimum guarantee, in addition to a revenue sharing agreement based on ad sales, the newspaper reported.

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Spotify said Rogan’s podcast will also be available on Apple, Amazon and YouTube, but it did not comment further about the deal’s terms.

In an email to The Associated Press on Saturday, Spotify declined to comment on the deal's financial details, including the estimated value.

Over the years, Rogan has developed a huge audience who listen to his long, wide-ranging interviews with a variety of guests, including comedians, athletes, scientists and conspiracy theorists.

“There’s no script of what we’re going to talk about, and it all just sort of happens in real time,” he said on Spotify's blog post.

“It’s just an actual organic conversation with people enjoying themselves, which is something we all can relate to, and something we all love to do. These conversations have changed the way I think about life immeasurably and continue to do so.”

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