“Two people familiar with the details of the transaction” told the New York Times that the three-and-a-half year deal is worth at least $200 million, with the possibility of additional payments. Another anonymous source, who previously worked for Spotify, told Pitchfork that the agreement was worth over $200 million.
Granted, that’s more than Spotify paid to acquire media podcasting companies such as Gimlet Media and The Ringer, each of which the platform bought for a little under $200 million.
Back in May 2020, after reaching a deal with Spotify that would make The Joe Rogan Experience exclusive to that platform, Rogan said he felt uncomfortable discussing the dollar amount during a conversation with the New York Times.
“It feels gross,” Rogan said at the time. “Especially right now, when people can’t work.”
The news arrives in the wake of controversy, as Rogan has faced backlash over his past use of the N-word. Earlier this month, the podcast host issued an apology on Instagram, calling his use of the N-word the “most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.”
“There’s a video that’s out that’s a compilation of me saying the N-word,” Rogan said at the time. “It’s a video that’s made of clips taken out of context of me of 12 years of conversations on my podcast, and it’s all smushed together. And it looks fucking horrible, even to me.”
Rogan continued, “I know that to most people, there is no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word, nevermind publicly on a podcast, and I agree with that now. I haven’t said it in years. Instead of saying ‘the N-word,’ I would just say the word. I thought as long as it was in context, people would understand what I was doing.”
The podcast host has also been facing controversy about how his podcast has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic. In January, Neil Young blasted Spotify and Rogan’s podcast in specific for “spreading fake information about vaccines” and asked for his music to be removed from the platform. “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” the musician wrote.