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The Value of an Open Podcast

Daring Fireball: ‘Joe Rogan Got Ripped Off’

Even if you put money aside, Rogan’s deal with Spotify will almost certainly shrink his audience to some degree, and it gives Spotify complete control over Rogan’s relationship with his audience. I don’t think Rogan is a fool — quite the opposite. But I still think he’s underestimating the value of his show.

I won't pretend to know the economics better than the parties involved, but this certainly follows logically.

  1. Before, you could listen to Joe Rogan's show in any podcast app, except Spotify. Finding it was no problem, just go to the top podcasts and it'll be there right in the top 5 basically all the time.
  2. Now, you can only listen in Spotify. This is good for Spotify because they are going to to from zero Rogan subscribers to likely millions overnight. For Rogan though, this means getting all of his current subscribers to resubscribe. It's basically like sending out an email that says "we've unsubscribed you from this newsletter, please download our app and resubscribe to keep getting this email." True fans will so it, but any marketer will tell you that's a failsafe way to lose subscribers.

For Rogan, the math must be that Spotify will pay him directly more than he would have earned from the audience members he's losing. Or maybe he'd rather have a set level of revenue he can rely on and wants that stability. One thing's for sure, I would love to be a fly on the wall in these conversations.

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