Not too long ago, after a series of missteps and controversies, Joe Rogan's relationship with the music platform Spotify seemed tenuous. But "for more than three years, The Joe Rogan Experience has consistently been the number-one podcast across the globe," noted a recent Spotify statement—which helps explain why the 56-year-old comedian and podcaster just inked a renewal deal with the music platform worth up to $250 million, reports Variety. Sources tell the Wall Street Journal, which first reported on the arrangement, that Rogan will receive a guaranteed amount at the start of the multiyear contract, as well as revenue sharing based on ad sales.
What makes this deal different than the $200-million-plus contract Rogan signed in 2020 with Spotify: The audio platform is giving up exclusivity in exchange for wider distribution, a bigger audience, and (it hopes) even more ad sales for the Rogan podcast, by allowing the program to be streamed on other platforms like YouTube, Amazon Music, and Apple Podcasts. "JRE remains podcasting's king, consistently ranking as the most-listened-to podcast globally," Spotify says in a release.
In the release, formatted as an interview with Rogan, he talks with the company about the 2,200 or so episodes he's aired so far, and what he thinks about doing the show, even as critics have slammed him for remarks viewed as being racist, antisemitic, and anti-LGBTQ+, per NBC News. "Cool conversations are a kind of mental nourishment," Rogan says. "I think that's why so many people like to listen to podcasts—because you can be a fly on the wall and experience the inner workings of the mind of someone." He adds of some of his funnier conversations: "It's a hilarious relief from all the bulls--- most people are going through in life." Spotify sales rose 2% Friday. (More Joe Rogan stories.)