Last May, podcasting star Joe Rogan and the audio streaming giant Spotify struck a deal worth $100 million, making his show, the Joe Rogan Experience, a Spotify exclusive.
The May agreement was “the jewel in the crown” for Spotify’s massive and systematic push into the podcasting media, and on September 1, it came into effect.
But some of the more interesting episodes from the podcast’s back catalog have become “elusive” just as the exclusive deal kicked into gear. To be specific – these episodes are apparently now gone, at least in terms of not being moved over to Spotify.
Commenting on the effect the deal’s already having, Carl Benjamin shared some bad news on his channel when he said that as Rogan’s podcast debuted on Spotify – “a bunch of episodes are missing… including my own!”
By “my own,” Benjamin appears to refer to those Joe Rogan Experience episodes in which he guested while the podcast was still available on YouTube.
Rogan’s decision to move to Texas from California, in particular possibly because of the current political climate on the West coast, was marketed as a way for Rogan to “stay true to himself.”
That’s what he said back May, explaining the Spotify move was purely a licensing deal that would not affect the nature of the content he was producing.
The stuff that’s now not moved over to Spotify includes a lot of recurring guests on the podcast – some more middle-of-the road than others, described as anything from atheists to conspiracy theorists, including Alex Jones, who is also referred to as one of Rogan’s friends – “and one of the reasons he moved to Texas” – but one who’s now apparently missing from the catalog that made it over to Spotify.
The implication here is that either Spotify, or Rogan, or both, made sure to “scrub” the presence of anything considered even remotely controversial, as the podcast moves to a new and shiny platform.
The overarching implication, though, is clearly that “$100 million deals will do that to you.”
Rogan is yet to comment directly on the issue but, according to favorite guest Alex Jones, Joe Rogan will be keeping a bunch of his favorite episodes on YouTube, which is why not all of the episodes made it across to Spotify. “Joe Rogan’s favorite episodes from the last ten years or so will be left on YouTube starting December 31st…that’s why some of the interviews aren’t there, because those are going to be the exclusive interviews that are left on YouTube,” Jones said.
That’s the official story anyway.