Joe Rogan reveals Spotify deal was almost pulled during his biggest controversy

Joe Rogan talking into mic in black shirt on podcast setSpotify/Joe Rogan

Joe Rogan says it was “touch and go” whether Spotify were going to cancel his deal when the platform came under pressure to do so from artists and sponsors. 

When Joe Rogan first announced that he was taking his podcast to Spotify, plenty of fans were wary about the move – with concerns including the lack of a video player, no more YouTube clips, and whether or not Spotify would have creative control. 

Rogan’s massive deal meant that he was able to get a few things addressed pretty quickly, as the platform implemented videos, but the exclusivity and control by Spotify has always loomed large. None more so than when he created a storm for the controversial guests he had on during the global health situation.

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At the time, Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek compared Rogan’s content to rappers, noting that they wouldn’t censor him. However, a number of episodes from his back catalog were removed and content disclaimers were put on some newer episodes.

Joe Rogan says Spotify deal was “touch and go” despite “great” relationship

It was a topic that Dave Portnoy brought up when he was a guest on episode 1920 of the JRE Podcast, as Rogan noted it was “touch and go” for a period. 

“Well, the people at Spotify weren’t (concerned). There were just a couple of people, like tech people, that were upset,” Rogan said, noting that there were complaints about “misinformation” and Spotify was “apprehensive” about some guests.

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“There was a lot of pressure from advertisers, there was a lot of pressure from different people, artists like Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulled their music, and it was touch and go.”

Rogan said that his relationship with Spotify has always been “great,” and praised them for standing by him.

The JRE host has ultimately continued to have similar guests on to those that sparked the initial outrage as the pressure to sever the deal has died down.