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Less than a week ago it was reported that Joe Rogan had reached a deal with Spotify that would make his insanely popular podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience," exclusive to that platform. In return he could end up netting more than $100 million.
That's, uh, definitely a pretty sweet deal. But Rogan didn't seem comfortable discussing the financial particulars when he was asked about them by The New York Times' Bari Weiss in a piece that ran on Monday. As you may have guessed if you remember a previous story (from about two months ago) in which Rogan called out the lack of awareness from celebrities (led by Gal Gadot) singing "Imagine" in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Rogan didn't want to talk about a nine-figure deal during a period where as many as 38 million Americans have filed for unemployment.
That might not be a great thing to run concurrently.
"It feels gross," Rogan said of discussing the reported figure. "Especially right now, when people can't work."
Two facts seem worth noting (and they are in Weiss' piece), specifically that Spotify added $1.7 billion to their market cap within 23 minutes of Rogan's deal being announced. And also that the streaming service reportedly paid almost twice as much to The Ringer for their podcasts earlier this year.
The article goes on to talk about how Rogan is now mainstream due to all the blind spots that traditional media has. There's definitely truth to that, but it's the type of thing that verified people could try to poke holes in to impress one another. Rogan further delved into the appeal podcasts have due to their ability to A.) Specialize on a topic, and B.) Give people something to listen to while multi-tasking.
It's not like the world needs any more podcasts (some of us just missed that boat, oh well) but, as he put it, "Nobody ever thought: We need to gear our entertainment, our media, to people who cook, who jog, who hike, people who drive. Even books on tape can require too much thinking." He added that podcasts don't "require that much thinking at all." Stating that, instead, "You get captivated by the conversation. One of the things about this medium in general is that it's really easy to listen to while you do other stuff."
Rogan went on to talk about his thoughts on media censorship, especially as it relates to tech companies. He also commented on the notion that he's a sellout. Note that he's been providing entertainment for 1480 episodes and counting for free (the piece adds that, though JRE will be a Spotify exclusive, it's believed clips will still come up on YouTube).
"Why would I sell out now? You sell out to get what you want," he added.
You can read the whole thing here, though you may get pay-walled out.