Joe Rogan Got Ripped Off by Spotify

There’s only one winner in the deal between the podcaster and the music streaming giant. And it’s not Rogan.

Andrew Wilkinson
Published in
8 min readJun 2, 2020


Photo: Vivian Zink/Syfy/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Oil companies are famous for approaching hapless farmers and buying drilling rights for their properties for next to nothing.

The farmers don’t realize they are sitting on tens of millions of dollars of oil, so they accept a $50,000 one-time payment.

It feels like a huge win…

Until they realize that they just lost out on tens of millions of dollars of oil riches.

That’s Joe Rogan right now.

In September, I wrote a post about how Howard Stern is getting ripped off by Sirius. I made the case that Howard Stern is making $90 million a year when he could be making 2–3x by cutting out the middle-man and doing a subscription podcast.

In that post, I also speculated that Joe Rogan — the largest podcaster in the world — was likely a billionaire. Even though he probably didn’t realize it.

Apparently, Joe Rogan didn’t read my post. But someone else definitely did:

Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify, who just closed an exclusive deal with Rogan to move his show (audio and video) to the Spotify platform.

If the numbers are to be believed, it’s a steal of a deal for Spotify: for $100-$200mm they secured the largest podcast audience in the world.

I’m not exaggerating. Spotify’s market cap jumped by $3 billion in the 24h after the news of this deal broke.

The market saw what Rogan missed: Spotify took his oil.

Spotify Ticker May 18–22 (Source: Apple Stocks)

To the untrained eye, this looks pretty good for Rogan. His listeners can still access the podcast for free — as long as they use Spotify. Spotify premium subscribers…