Joe Rogan’s Spotify Deal Could Make Him World’s Highest Paid Broadcaster.
Joe Rogan, the comedian, MMA commentator and podcaster, may seem an unlikely prospect for becoming the world’s highest paid broadcaster. But after signing an exclusive deal with Spotify, that is what he may have become, marking a new era for podcasting in the process.
To much of the world, Rogan’s name is most associated with the periodic furores that erupt from the marathon interviews around which his podcast is structured.
Elon Musk smoking weed during a 2018 interview brought a lot of heat, for instance, as did Bernie Sanders appearing on the show in the midst of his presidential campaign, less than six months after conspiracy theorist Alex Jones was brought on for his second sit-down in as many years.
But Rogan’s affably bro-ish demeanour, combined with his sponge-like interview style, has garnered him millions of fans over the thousand-plus episodes of his show, The Joe Rogan Experience. And that has made him a linchpin in Spotify’s plans to transform the world of podcasting.
Rogan announced the deal on 19 May, revealing his show would debut on Spotify in September, and become exclusive to the platform some point after that. Terms were not disclosed, but one calculation from 2019 pegged Rogan’s revenue from podcast adverts alone between $50m (£41m) and $250m, with more coming from YouTube, where his shows get a million views in their first 24 hours. Add a premium for exclusivity on top and, says podcaster John Gruber, “it seems likely that Joe Rogan is now the highest paid broadcaster in the world”.
The Joe Rogan Experience is the second significant acquisition by Spotify for its growing podcast business, after the company bought US sports broadcaster The Ringer outright for nearly $200m in February.
Both deals, as well as smaller forays into exclusive content around topics such as gaming, true crime, and relationship advice, lie at the heart of the Swedish streaming service’s attempts to transform podcasting from an industry built around a mishmash of open standards and traditional advertising into a platform economy – with Spotify at the centre.
By requiring Rogan’s listeners to use the Spotify app to tune in, the company gains far deeper data about who, when and where their audiences are; that, in turn, can be fed through to advertisers, who are more likely to pay higher rates if they can be assured that the target audience is listening. Control of the player also allows Spotify to vary the advertising to the audience, again increasing revenue.
The benefits are familiar web economics, and many see the transformation Spotify has in mind as mirroring the changes to the wider web that unfurled over the 2010s. “Podcasting feels like the web prior to the roll-up of power by Google and Facebook, with a lot of new voices, some very successful and most marginal, but quite authentic,” said Matt Stoller, author of Goliath, a history of monopolies.
“Once Spotify has gatekeeping power over distribution and a large ad targeting business, it will also be able to control who can monetise podcasts, because advertisers will increasingly just want to hit specific audience members, as opposed to advertise on specific shows.”
But Spotify has competition. Apple – long the corporate leader in podcasting through its control of the Apple Podcast Directory and still the largest global platform for connecting listeners with broadcasters – has started acquiring original podcasts for itself for the first time, according to Bloomberg News. The two companies, in direct competition over music streaming, could be going head-to-head in a second field.
Until then, Spotify’s bigger problem is convincing podcast listeners to switch from their favourite app to the service’s own – which may not have access to all the shows available in the open ecosystem. The company is not the first to try, and others, such as Stitcher and Luminary, have struggled to justify themselves to listeners. But Spotify has one big advantage: its app, already used by more than 250 million people a month, could serve to introduce podcasts to a whole new group of listeners.
The Africa Day Benefit Concert; A Snap Shot Of Everything That Went Down
Every year, the Africa Day celebration comes with excitement at the opportunity to celebrate the rich African culture. What better way to celebrate our beautiful and vibrant continent than with the universal language, music.
The Africa Day Benefit Concert At Home was a 2-hour live concert that was broadcast to millions of viewers in Africa and around the world on TV and YouTube.
The humanitarian concert was hosted by Hollywood star Idris Elba and featured star-studded special appearances from a host of celebrities and electrifying performances from some of the most talented artists across the continent like Davido, Tiwa Savage, Sho Madjozi, Burna Boy, AKA, Yemi Alade, Adekunle Gold, Teni, Timi Dakolo, and Cobhams Asuquo, Niniola, Reekado Banks, Rema, Sauti Sol, Seun Kuti, Afro B, Busiswa, Diamond Platinumz, Salif Keita, Angelique Kidjo, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Ismael Lo, Bebe Cool, and many more who are uniting to commemorate Africa Day and provide hope and inspiration during COVID-19.
The concert also featured special appearances by Bonang Matheba, Boris Kodjo, Omotola Jalade Ekehinde, Toke Makinwa, Chloe X Halle, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Falz, Rita Ora, Richard Mofe Damijo, Mr Eazi, Vanessa Mdee, Yvonne Orji, Fat Joe, Pearl Thusi, Nelson Freitas, Boity Thulo, Anika Noni Rose, Skepta, Wale, Jidenna, Kirk Franklin, French Montana, Miss Universe 2019 Zozibini Tunzi and others.
The two-hour special aims to not only entertain viewers at home but also to raise funds that will support food and health needs for children and families in Africa affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The performance was opened by Davido and closed by Burna Boy.
Text excluding title courtesy Bellanaija
2020 Safta Winners Available To Binge On Showmax.
It is time to binge your favourite television shows as nearly 66% of the 2020 South African Film and Television Awards (Safta) winners in the television categories are available to binge now on Showmax, with more to come soon.
This includes all the telenovela winners, 12 of the drama winners out of 13, and the best reality show (Living The Dream With Somizi), natural history (Stroop), lifestyle (Elders: Japan) and variety shows (Mooi), as well as the best documentary (Buddha in Africa) and short film winners (The Letter Reader).
With 10 awards, The River was the most-awarded series overall at the Saftas – for the second year in a row. This follows its International Emmy nomination last year.