I wrote about Joe Rogan and his licensing deal with Spotify yesterday in which the WSJ has reported it is a multi-year deal for over $100million. I’ve seen some people online say that the total value of the deal could be closer to $375million when it’s all said and done.
This is something no one has really seen before. My immediate comparison was to think of Howard Stern and SeriusXM for when he made his move to satellite radio. But even in that circumstance Howard is still an employee to the platform.
Joe Rogan will still be his own boss and own what seems like all of the rights to his show. It’s wild that this news came at the heels of Barstool’s Call Her Daddy fiasco and what those negotiations seemed to entail.
Like Dave explained that Barstool offered them the deal for 1 year and then releasing the Daddy girls basically scot free was a result of the pandemic and these extraordinary times. But, in my opinion Barstool is very lucky that they didn’t take that deal because it could set a really tough precedent for future talent in the office.
This is because your intellectual property is everything. Besides health it may be your most valuable asset. Rogan knows this and so does every successful corporation. There are countless stories of different artists signing to a label only to be completely taken advantage of monetarily. Or their creative process being disrupted. It’s usually portrayed as the “higher ups”, or suits, thinking they know what is best in terms of revenue and profits and not being willing to take that risk that the artist wants to.
Kinda funny how the industry ends up profiting even more off of the practices they know are corrupt and unfair.
Anyways, Joe Rogan is essentially turning himself into a product/brand and will give Spotify the rights to distribute his platform and they will both benefit from the exposure and money that he makes. We don’t know the length of the deal but it is entirely possible that after the exclusivity is up Rogan then extends the license back to YouTube and Apple Podcasts to make even more money. That’s a whole ‘nother bag for the JRE.
I wonder how the dominos fall after this move. Other huge, independent platforms will use this as a skeleton of how they want to monetize and leverage their platforms. I saw a tweet that hypothesized that this could segment the podcast industry akin to TV and basically give different networks different channels that they offer. I don’t really think that will be the case though.
Regardless, Joe Rogan is creating new ways to leverage oneself and have the freedom they rightfully deserve. It’s also that this is the beauty of the internet – the ability to share content basically for free and be your own boss.
What’s also super interesting about this is the fact that Rogan did not need to make this deal. So it makes you wonder why?
Obviously the money must’ve played a role in this decision but what about other factors that led to this move? Was the idea of censorship from YouTube in the back of Joe’s mind? Would certain guests he had on be banned or shadow-banned by the platform? Could what he said be characterized as “mis-information” and be taken down? How valuable to YouTube is the JRE? Should they have done whatever they could have to keep him?
I also am curious how Spotify, the worlds largest audio platform, plans gain from this besides just downloads and listens. Obviously they become a partner to Joe and his fans will follow him to the site. I noted on my Twitter yesterday that I will be switching from Apple Music to Spotify solely because of this news. It will just make it easier to only use 1 app instead of switching back and forth in my opinion.
But what else can Spotify do to really profit from the JRE? I guess only time will tell but if you make an investment that big then you must have some ideas cooking in the oven. I’m excited to see what the future holds.
P.S. – My favorite part of all this is that Joe Rogan sees podcasting as a side hustle for him. If you asked him what his profession is he would say that he is a comedian before he said podcaster. Legend.