Joe Rogan makes $30 million to top list of highest-earning podcasts

Matt Porter

The Joe Rogan Experience is widely regarded as one of the most popular podcasts in the world, and new reports suggest that the stand-up comic made $30 million while hosting his show in 2019.

For many, Joe Rogan is the voice of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. After joining the fighting organization in 1997 as a post-fight interviewer, Rogan eventually moved into a color-commentary position and has been calling the biggest mixed martial arts fights ever since, lending his expertise to bouts featuring legends like Brock Lesnar, Anderson Silva, Jon Jones, and Conor McGregor.

In 2009, the comedian launched his own podcast titled The Joe Rogan Experience, and for over a decade, he has invited on an eclectic mix of celebrities, academics, and experts to discuss the world, and often the sport of MMA, propelling him to the top of podcast charts worldwide. Now, Forbes have revealed the ten hosts who have made the most from their shows in 2019, and claim Joe Rogan is soundly at the top.

Joe Rogan commentating at a UFC event with Paul Felder.
Rogan is also known for providing color commentary at UFC events.

According to a report from Forbes on February 3, Joe Rogan is comfortably top of the rankings, claiming that the commentator-turned-podcaster made $30 million from The Joe Rogan Experience in 2019, a staggering amount considering the shows air for free every day, with no obligation from listeners to pay.

Speaking to the site, Edison Research’s senior vice president Tom Webster said: “He is delivering scale and engagement. He’s number one in terms of reach in the United States.”

What makes the number even more impressive is how far ahead of his nearest competition he is, with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark occupying the second spot on the list with their ‘My Favorite Murder’ series, which is believed to have made $15 million in revenue during 2019, just 50% of what The Joe Rogan Experience generated. Dave Ramsey’s advice podcasts brought in $10 million,

Joe Rogan with Robert Downey Jr.
Rogan has had some huge celebrity guests, including actor Robert Downey Jr.

Dave Ramsey’s advice podcasts brought in $10 million, while actor Dax Shephard’s Armchair Expert, which sees him interview celebrity friends and experts made $9 million. Rounding out the list is former ESPN commentator Bill Simmons, who raked in $7 million through his sports-based show.

Forbes states that they estimated earnings based on the time period of January 1, 2019 through to January 1, 2020, and used data from podcast hosting services like Apple and Stitcher along with interviews with industry insiders. They also included revenue from any tours where the host took their podcast on the road, paid memberships, and YouTube earnings, with many choosing to upload clips from their shows online.

The Joe Rogan Experience averages over 190 million downloads a month alone, with videos of the episodes regularly drawing in a million views on YouTube.

Highest-earning podcasters in 2019

  1. Joe Rogan – The Joe Rogan Experience – $30 million
  2. Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark – My Favorite Murder – $15 million
  3. Dave Ramsey – The Dave Ramsey Show – $10 million
  4. Dax Shephard – Armchair Expert – $9 million
  5. Bill Simmons – The Bill Simmons Show – $7 million

H/T: Forbes