The Joe Rogan Experience has long been one of the most popular podcasts on the market – not to mention one of the most prolific and long-running shows.
But what exactly happened to The Joe Rogan Experience, and why does it no longer feature on Youtube?
The Joe Rogan Experience
Started in 2009 by American comedian Joe Rogan, The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the most prestigious podcasts in the industry.
It is often credited with starting the current comedy podcasting boom that has come around in the decade or so since its inception.
Featuring a range of diverse guests from a number of different fields – including standup comedy, entertainment, astrophysics, history, politics, the sciences, and even psychology – The Joe Rogan Experience has made a name for itself as one for free speech, diversity, and friendly debate.
What Happened To The Joe Rogan Experience?
With over 1500 episodes, this controversial podcast featured on the free streaming platform Youtube, The Joe Rogan Experience became one of the best and most loved free podcasts on the market.
However, after a 2020 deal between Rogan and the premium streaming service Spotify, the podcast disappeared from YouTube, becoming a subscription podcast on Spotify’s new podcasting roster.
But why exactly did this happen?
This is true in the case of Joe Rogan, a controversial podcaster who famously never had ad breaks or paid products in his podcast – other than products he personally used, or ones that he was sent free and which he chose to plug.
This means that turning it into a functioning business can be difficult, not to mention when you have to pay guests to appear on the show.
Joe Rogan has become famous for attracting high-profile guests on his podcast – with such examples being Bernie Sanders, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Neil Young, and Joey Diaz – and these people most likely don’t turn up for anything.
When podcasting giant Spotify announced a deal that amassed over $200 million dollars in revenue, not only did Rogan have the power and means to secure high-profile guests, but he also has the backing of a corporation.
Not only that, he also secured his own financial future without having to advertise products or disrupt his format.
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When conversing with some high-profile figures who might be perceived as controversial, Rogan needs the backing of Spotify and their lawyers to protect him against potential criticism and attacks.
Controversial figures like Edward Snowden, who appeared on the podcast in 2020, would amass a lot of trouble, and without the presence of corporate backing, had the potential to land Rogan in hot water.
What’s more, with a corporation behind the podcast, there comes the strength and collective marketing power that such companies have to offer.
While many long-term fans of Rogan’s might not think the podcast needed such attention, it certainly catapulted Joe Rogan from a YouTube/comedy cult favorite, to a national icon and a key player in the pantheon of modern podcasting.
One of the key bargains Rogan made with Spotify was that he would retain full editorial control over his content.
This ensures that his podcast stays true to its essence, without compromising authenticity due to societal pressures such as political correctness and the so-called ‘cancel culture.’ These are social phenomena that big corporations often conform to in their pursuit of staying relevant and popular.
One example of this is YouTube, which over the recent years has brought in numerous restrictions about what is and isn’t considered ‘appropriate’ content – leading to many content creators leaving the platform for good.
In many ways, this deal meant that Rogan got out ahead of the worsening restrictions, allowing him to forge a deal with Spotify while on the top of his game, and with the majority of the power in his hands.
Even when there were removed episodes of the podcast in 2022 due to some controversial conversations, he was still able to maintain creative control and ownership of podcast.
Spotify CEO Daniel Ek stood by Joe Rogan’s decision to keep the content on his own platform, and promised to continue supporting the podcast host in this endeavor.
This is a rarity in traditional media deals, as most large companies require complete or majority control of content created by contracted parties.
Is This The Way To Go?
Many find themselves torn over the ethics of the decision, and whether the move really followed the ethos that fans feel Rogan established all those years ago.
Long-time fans argue that he has abandoned his key audience base, and chased the money instead of authenticity, while others argue that he chose the logical move to ensure the continued success of the podcast and the freedom of speech therein.
YouTube VS Spotify
Ultimately, many resent the fact that they now have to pay a Spotify subscription if they want to listen to the podcast, which is understandable, seeing as much of the podcast’s history saw it free for all to watch and listen to.
Many people also see YouTube as some free, ‘pirate’ nation, where content is free and anything goes. This however couldn’t be further from the truth.
YouTube, like Spotify, is still a corporation, and they have the power to interfere and govern from above like any other.
Just because they do not charge people to view, does not mean that they do not exercise control over what artists can release and indeed what viewers can watch – going to show that with supposed monetary freedom, there isn’t always creative freedom in the truest sense.
And there we have it, everything you need to know about The Joe Rogan Experience, and the Spotify deal that changed it all.
It is worth saying that the podcast is still exceptionally successful, and is in many ways one of the flagships of the streaming service’s new podcasting roster, but there are still many who long for the old days.
But whatever you think about the deal, you can’t argue that Rogan is a success for a reason, and in that vein, this might just be the next, logical step.