In brief: When Spotify inked a licensing agreement with Joe Rogan in mid-2020 to bring his popular podcast to the streaming service, rumors at the time suggested the deal was valued north of $100 million. Apparently it was way north of that figure.
The New York Times now claims the true value of the three-and-a-half-year deal was at least $200 million, with the possibility of more (presumably based on hitting performance goals).
As anticipated, onboarding The Joe Rogan Experience helped position Spotify as a top player in the podcasting world. The deal also came with some risk, as Rogan is viewed by some to be a controversial figure.
Last month, musician Neil Young demanded Spotify remove his music over comments made on Rogan's podcast regarding vaccine information.
The streaming giant obliged, and in the weeks since, more musicians have left the service. Spotify did add content advisory notifications to select episodes of Rogan's podcast, and CEO Daniel Ek, said the company would invest $100 million for the "licensing, development and marketing" of audio and music "from historically marginalized groups."
Spotify sought to diversify its offerings with the introduction of video to its platform years ago, but the effort largely fell short and didn't generate the additional stream of revenue Spotify was looking for to supplement its music business. The company didn't want to strike out again with podcasting, so they swung for the fences with Rogan and offered him a huge sum of money to sign on the dotted line.
Image credit: Alexander Shatov