Spotify didn't pay $100m for the Joe Rogan podcast after all — it was $200m

Joe Rogan
Joe Rogan (Image credit: The Joe Rogan Experience)

What you need to know

  • Podcaster Joe Rogan reportedly signed a $200 million deal with Spotify in 2020.
  • Rogan has proven a controversial figure for Spotify and its listeners.
  • Reports from 2020 suggested the Rogan deal was worth $100 million.

When Spotify splashed the cash to pick up a Joe Rogan podcast in May of 2020, reports had the deal being worth $100 million. Now, a new report says that was very much wide of the mark. About $100 million wide.

Now, according to a New York Times report citing two different sources, it appears that Spotify actually agreed to hand over $200 million to get The Joe Rogan Experience onto its streaming platform. In fact, it could even be more.

In May 2020, after an intense courtship, Spotify announced a licensing agreement to host Mr. Rogan's show exclusively. Although reported then to be worth more than $100 million, the true value of the deal that was negotiated at the time, which covered three and a half years, was at least $200 million, with the possibility of more, according to two people familiar with the details of the transaction who spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to discuss it.

Rogan has become one of the biggest names in podcasting but has proven a controversial figure. Recently, artists Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulled their songs from Spotify over concerns regarding the content of Rogan's podcast in regards to anti-vax theories.

Spotify has since stood by its star but has also announced policy changes that include new podcast content warnings and more.

Spotify is among the best iPhone solutions for streaming music and podcasts and it's the only place to listen to Joe Rogan. But was that worth north of $200 million? Spotify would surely say so, although that feeling might have changed slightly in the last few weeks.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.