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(Credit: Joe Rogan)

Music

Spotify paid $200 million for Rogan podcast, twice the originally reported $100 million

@TylerGolsen

In May of 2020, Spotify announced that they were buying the exclusive rights to The Joe Rogan Experience for an amount of $100 million. According to a recent article published by The New York Times, that amount was false. According to “two people familiar with the details of the transaction”, Spotify and Rogan actually agreed to a three-year, $200 million contract.

A former Spotify employer anonymously confirmed to Pitchfork that the Rogan deal was indeed worth $200 million. The new details come as Spotify faces increased pressure to drop Rogan from the platform, citing his history of spreading misinformation regarding covid and a number of his podcasts that used racially insensitive language.

In January of 2021, an open letter signed by hundreds of medical professionals publically called for Spotify to respond to an episode of Rogan’s podcast featuring Dr Robert Malone, an infectious disease researcher and sceptic of covid vaccines.

Also in January, Neil Young publically announced that he was pulling his music from the streaming service, citing its willingness to carry the Rogan podcast. Fellow artists, including Joni Mitchell and Young’s bandmates David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash, have also pulled their music in response.

Spotify has publically responded that it will not “deplatform” Rogan. Spotify CEO and co-founder Daniel Ek has condemned Rogan’s use of racially inappropriate language but stated: “I want to make one point very clear—I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer. We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but cancelling voices is a slippery slope.”

The Joe Rogan Experience recently removed a number of episodes of the podcast that contained Rogan’s comments around race. Rogan responded by stating: “Now I know that to most people there’s no context where a white person is ever allowed to say that word, never mind publicly on a podcast. And I agree with that now,” he said. 

Adding: “I haven’t said it in years. But for a long time when I would bring that word up like if it would come up in conversation, instead of saying the n-word I would just say the word. I thought as long as it was in context, people would understand what I was doing.”

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(Credit: Fortune Live Media)