In one of the biggest news stories of 2020 not involving Covid-19, it was announced that podcast host, comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogan had inked an exclusive deal with Spotify.
From 1st September, Spotify has been the official home of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which has now disappeared from all other platforms including YouTube. However, Rogan’s move to the “largest audio platform in the world” has not been without controversy and talking points.
Here are 5 interesting facts about Joe Rogan’s podcast deal with Spotify.
#1 Spotify have no creative control over the content of Joe Rogan’s show
Ever since its inception in December 2009, the Joe Rogan Experience podcast has become synonymous with the discussion of all kinds of subjects. Joe Rogan’s discussions with guests see them talking about sports, conspiracy theories, politics and drug use.
Rogan himself has outright stated that unlike major political networks, he’s free to discuss any subject with zero agenda, making his podcast pretty unique in that sense. But when he signed his deal with Spotify, some fans may well have been concerned that this nature of the podcast might change.
However, Joe Rogan’s legions of followers need not worry. He has already stated that not only will the show remain free, but it will also be the “exact same show”. According to Rogan, the deal with Spotify is just a licensing deal, which means Spotify will have no creative control over the show whatsoever.
#2 The move has caused controversy due to Joe Rogan’s apparent anti-wokeness
Joe Rogan might’ve gained millions of fans for his willingness to discuss just about anything on his podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience. But he’s also garnered some criticism too. In 2019, for instance, Rogan came under fire for comments he’d made that could’ve been seen as racist and sexist.
Justin Peters, for instance, described the Joe Rogan Experience as “one of the internet’s foremost vectors for anti-wokeness”.
Joe Rogan’s new Spotify deal has only magnified the issue further. September saw reports that some of the company’s staff were pushing to introduce direct editing oversight over the Joe Rogan Experience, meaning that content flags, references to fact-checked information and warnings could be added to the episodes.
More recently though, the same staff members have reportedly considered a strike unless their demands for this editing oversight are met. Their issues largely stem from an episode of the podcast that saw Rogan discussing the issue of gender transition with Wall Street Journal writer Abigail Shrier – a discussion that some people found to be transphobic.
Whether or not this strike goes ahead remains to be seen, but with Rogan recently firing back at his critics, it’s safe to say that we probably haven’t heard the last of this issue.