Some people still only know Joe Rogan as a former Fear Factor host. Or, if you’re super old (like me), you still consider him the electrician/handyman Joe Garelli in the much-underrated sitcom NewsRadio. UFC fans know him for his longtime concert as a secondary commentator and post-combat interviewer. He is also a standup comedian on a national tour.
But I hope now people realize that Joe is a much bigger cultural figure outside of the aforementioned credits. I’m not exaggerating when I say that Joe is literally one of the most powerful people in the entertainment industry, perhaps in the country. He can influence elections, make or break careers and even get Elon Musk – the CEO of TWO public companies smoking weed during a live broadcast. All of this power comes from the behemoth podcast, Joe Rogan Experience. A podcast that, over the past decade, has been used primarily on YouTube and iTunes.
Well, that last part is about to change because earlier today it was revealed that Joe Rogan was bringing his podcast talents to Spotify.
The Joe Rogan experience will move exclusively to Spotify from September 1. In the following months (before the end of the year), he will also move his entire library of archived episodes from iTunes and YouTube to Spotify. This represents 11 years of content. Over 1,400 episodes.
To be clear, Joe did not SELL his podcast to Spotify. He signed a multi-year license agreement that allows Joe to keep control of the show and the material. Spotify will have no editorial control or contribution.
What importance did he sign? The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg both report the deal is worth it $ 100 million. I bet it’s worth more. It all depends on the number of years that “multi-year” means. Is it a three-year agreement? Five years? Ten years?
Consider this – The Joe Rogan Experience is still the most valuable podcast on the planet. Through live commercial readings and YouTube video ads, Joe Rogan Experience Generates $ 20-30 Million Per Year In income. And it’s all alone.
If you make $ 20 million to $ 30 million a year on your own, how much will it take you to become a business? To get all your content out of the free platforms that made you huge in the first place?
Let’s say it’s a three-year agreement. One could safely assume that he could continue as is and earn $ 60-90 million by himself. Would he take $ 100 million out of $ 60 million? Probably? $ 100 million out of $ 90 million? PERHAPS. Especially if the money has been paid in advance. Otherwise, I think the deal would look more like $ 150 million.
What makes a lot of sense to me is if Joe is currently earning $ 20 million a year, so $ 60 million over the next three years and Spotify offered him $ 100 million upfront. Cash now. Direct deposit.
As a comparison, in February 2020, Spotify bought the podcast network of Bill Simmons and digital media company The Ringer for $ 200 million. Spotify has also agreed to pay $ 50 million per year in staff costs in the coming years. At the time of the sale, The Ringer was generating $ 15 million in revenue per year.
Joe Rogan may be generating twice as much income now with a fraction of salary costs.
In my opinion, a $ 100 million license agreement over three years for Joe Rogan certainly feels in the ball.
Anyway, congratulations to Joe!