Global podcasting sensation Joe Rogan got everyone's attention this week when he announced he may pack up and head for Texas after learning that his resident state of California could be facing several more months of oppressive quarantine.
"Hey, I might move to Texas,” Rogan said last week on his podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience."
“If California continues to be this restrictive, I don’t know if this is a good place to live,” he continued. “First of all, it’s extremely expensive. The taxes here are ridiculous. And if they really say that we standup until 2022… I might jet."
While his plans regarding which state to call home in the near future are still in limbo, his podcast found a new home on streaming service Spotify in a cool $100 million licensing deal. The backlog of podcast episodes, which span nearly 11 years, will all make the jump to Spotify where they will be exclusively available starting in September.
"We’re going to be working with the same crew doing the exact same show,” Mr. Rogan said of the deal on Tuesday. “The only difference will be it will now be available on the largest audio platform in the world." Prior to the deal being made, however, Rogan spurred attempts from Spotify saying they didn't offer enough money to lure him away from his lucrative set up with YouTube.
Once the library of audio and video casts of "The Joe Rogan Experience" move over to Spotify, however, they will no longer be accessible through YouTube.
Rogan's show consistently ranks in the top slots of most listened to podcasts, having attracted loyal fans for more than a decade. A comedian, TV personality, and MMA expert, Rogan, 52, has appealed to people of all political stripes with caustic whit and a refusal to conform to the ever-moving goalposts of what is or isn't "woke," or politically correct.
Popular among conservatives and libertarians for his consistent defense of free expression and freedom of individuality, Rogan made waves earlier this year when he announced he would be endorsing socialist Bernie Sanders for president. Sanders shared the endorsement with his supporters who didn't appreciate Rogan's support, considering some controversial remarks he had made in the past. Rogan said in April, after Sanders had exited the Democratic race for the White House, that he would rather vote to reelect President Trump than vote for Joe Biden.
With the new deal, Spotify makes good on its announcement last year to expand its platform to include more podcasts. A deal signed earlier this year by the popular "My Favorite Murder" podcast was for a reported $10 million which, at the time, was the largest ever licensing deal for a podcast.
While he may be leaving YouTube, Rogan was more coy about whether he would actually settle in Texas. He did say, however, that he wasn't entirely joking around about leaving California.
"I’m not kidding," Rogan said last week of the prolonged Wuhan coronavirus shutdown in California. "This is silly. I don’t need to be here. The only reason that I’m here is that I’m closer to people… a lot of my friends live here, the [Comedy] Store is here."
Rogan's massive licensing deal with Spotify is the most recent example of the vitality and mass appeal of podcasting as a platform. In the past several years, podcasts have covered almost every imaginable topic from true crime, to politics, culture, comedy, how-to, cooking, and any topic with an audience. As of April 2020, there are more than 1 million podcasts with over 30 million episodes available to stream across various platforms.