My personal review of Joe Rogan’s move to Spotify
An opinion from a frequent Spotify user and casual Joe Rogan Experience listener
In this post, I’m going to try something that’s a bit different from what I’ve done so far. I’d like to give some brief opinions on how the move of the Joe Rogan Experience from YouTube and other podcast platforms (including Spotify) to being exclusively on Spotify has affected my listening/viewing experience.
For the unaware, the Joe Rogan Experience is without a doubt one of the most popular podcasts on the planet. It boasts hundreds of millions of listeners and viewers, and it has had some truly prolific guests. It’s no secret that property as big as JRE would truly be an asset to any streaming platform that it’s on, given the sheer size of the audience that it draws in. That’s clearly what Spotify noticed anyway when they signed a reported $100 million deal with Rogan to make his podcast exclusively available on the platform. That meant that every podcast, dating back to 2009, would only be available on Spotify. All that would be seen on YouTube (where I most watched JRE) would be occasional highlights and clips, but never the full episode.
The Listener and The Viewer
There are two types of people that experience podcasts. Those that only listen, and those that listen and watch. It’s often that people do both, myself included, but they are both two unique ways to experience media. Joe Rogan’s podcast is a great example of this, as many of his most popular podcasts were uploaded as videos on his YouTube channel, where they amassed tens of millions of views. His audio-only versions, which have always been on Spotify and other audio platforms, were also popular but attracted a different sort of audience. But what if you could combine both the listener AND the viewer, and give them a platform to experience it however they wanted in a seamless and synchronized fashion? Enter: Spotify’s videocast.
Spotify, over the last few months, has introduced the ability to watch videos on their service. This has been done with a few music videos, but the most notable change has come with podcasts. This feature allows the user to choose whether they want to watch and listen, or just listen, to any podcast that chooses to upload a video version. It works on desktop and mobile, and your place in the podcasts syncs across both platforms. So, as an example, you can start listening/watching on your computer, then switch over to your phone and listen on the go. This feature has been fantastic and has given me a lot more freedom to experience the podcasts that I listen to in a way that I didn’t previously get on YouTube.
The question does remain, have there been any drawbacks? Well, of course, when you take away the freedom of a user to experience something on the platform they choose, that comes with some negatives. Most notably, I can’t as easily send my friends links to Rogan’s podcast because they need to have a Spotify account in order to access it. A Spotify account is free, but it’s still an extra layer.
Other than that, I can honestly say my listening experience has been impacted in a minimal way. In fact, it has overall improved. As one of over 144 million Spotify listeners, I was already familiar with and frequently used the platform. When JRE switched over, it changed very little of what I did on a daily basis and simply gave me more choice in how I listened, while taking away some choice as far as what platform I could listen on.
What’s the point?
As I mentioned in my previous post, I want to start including this section where I can.
What we’ve seen with Joe Rogan and his podcast signing exclusively with Spotify is, I believe, a landmark in what will be the first of many exclusive deals that content creators will sign. Signing exclusive deals with content platforms is nothing new for content creators, but one of this size is certainly something to pay attention to. I think that as more and more podcasts begin to increase in popularity, and as the streaming market becomes more saturated, we will see a large move in individuals signing with these platforms. I believe that it is of vital importance to follow these deals as they arise. It will be incredibly important for content creators to understand how these deals affect their audience, and to ensure that the experience of their listener is impacted in a positive way while continuing to benefit the individual content creator.