breaking the bank
Spotify reportedly paid a lot more for its deal with Joe Rogan than previously known.
The streaming company in 2020 announced an exclusive partnership with the hit podcast The Joe Rogan Experience, and at the time, reports said this deal was worth over $100 million. But a new report from The New York Times on Thursday revealed "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."
The Times' report describes how the size of Spotify's deal with Rogan was "extraordinary" considering, for example, its purchase of Gimlet Media and The Ringer reportedly came out to less than $200 million each. Under the deal, Rogan's show became an exclusive to Spotify, and The Joe Rogan Experience is currently the most popular podcast on the platform.
In recent weeks, though, Spotify has been embroiled in controversy after Neil Young and other artists began to pull their music from the platform in protest of COVID-19 misinformation spread on Rogan's show, and Rogan has also come under fire for using the N-word numerous times in the past. Rogan has apologized for using racial slurs and vowed to "balance" out the guests on his show, and Spotify has removed dozens of old episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience.
But Spotify has also repeatedly defended Rogan amid the controversy. Earlier this month, The Verge reported that CEO Daniel Ek told employees that "there are many things that Joe Rogan says that I strongly disagree with and find very offensive" but that "our business wouldn't be where it is today" had Spotify not made deals like the one with Rogan, and Ek also argued that "canceling voices is a slippery slope."
The Times' new report also revealed that director Ava DuVernay, after announcing a deal with Spotify last year, has now also severed ties with the company.