By one measure – dollars – there is no denying Joe Rogan’s reported $100 million deal to distribute his podcast exclusively on Spotify is paying off. But after being widely available for a decade, the walled-off distribution model may be cutting into Rogan’s reach, influence, and relevance. The Verge looked at how many social media followers guests attracted after an appearance on the show - before and after the Spotify deal - and those numbers are not what they used to be.
Prior to being a Spotify exclusive, The Verge says guests on The Joe Rogan Experience typically added about 4,000 followers on Twitter during the week after their episode was published. Some even added as many as 18,000 according to the Social Blade analytics data. But ever since he went exclusive on Spotify last December, guests add only half as many – averaging about 2,000 new Twitter followers.
Not surprisingly, since Rogan no longer posts his shows on YouTube under the terms of his licensing deal with Spotify, Social Blade data indicates he is adding fewer new subscribers on the video service. The Verge says before he went exclusive Rogan picked up an average of 265,000 followers on YouTube each month. But afterward that number fell to about 100,000 per month.
There could be a variety of factors at play, including many conservatives moving away from Twitter after the platform blocked former President Trump. Rogan also found himself in the middle of a controversy surrounding the COVID vaccine rollout.
Yet those controversies also did not seem to have the same ripples across the web as in the past. The Verge says Google Trends data shows that searches about Rogan have dipped even since his show became a Spotify exclusive. But the numbers also suggest that Rogan simply does not have as many listeners as he once did.
Spotify does not release show-specific streaming numbers and it said this week that Rogan had the most listened-to podcast of the summer. It has also told investors that Rogan’s podcast has “performed above expectations.”
But The Verge says the various metrics point to one conclusion – that Rogan has “lost impact and relevance” since his show became a Spotify exclusive. It notes that has not, however, scared off other creators from signing multimillion dollar deals. In recent months Spotify has signed Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert and Alex Cooper’s Call Her Daddy to move their shows exclusively to its app. Spotify says all three shows were among its five most listened-to podcasts this summer.