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Packing his home up around this time last year and heading to the Hill Country, Joe Rogan was riding a high: the podcast king had just secured a deal with Spotify worth at least $100 million. But one year later, that same deal seems to be weighing down his growth.

That's not to say Rogan's success has evaporated. The MMA enthusiast's podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, still sits at No. 1 on Spotify's top podcast charts and reaches 200 million people monthly.

But his Spotify success may be the very reason for stagnant audience growth, The Verge reports. An investigation by the tech and entertainment site reveals "The Joe Rogan Experience" has declined in how it boosts guests and Rogan's overall presence as compared to before the big deal made his show exclusively available on Spotify.

The Verge looked at two main data sets to come to that conclusion:

  1. How many Twitter followers his guests gained after going on the podcast
  2. Rogan's relevance on Google Trends

Since Spotify hasn't provided numbers on Rogan's listenership, analytics tool Social Blade was used to track the Twitter following of every guest with under 500,000 followers who went on the podcast between December 2019 and July 2021. The data showed that after the Spotify deal, guests would gain 2,000 followers after their appearance, half as many as before.

While the timing lines up with the Spotify deal that constrains Rogan's content to only Spotify (as opposed to stretching across multiple platforms like YouTube), The Verge acknowledges it could be associated with a drop in listeners to podcasts overall after the thick of the pandemic.

But his overall relevance has fallen as well. Rogan's name was regularly searched in 2020, the Google Trends data shows. But those searches dipped after going exclusive on Spotify, with fewer spikes in searches for his name. Still, some can remember two times this year he made headlines for speaking out against healthy people getting vaccines and the efficiency of vaccines.

His Spotify deal is likely the reason for a decline in his relevance, The Verge reports, as some of his listeners didn't switch over to the platform when he made the switch. But fewer listeners may just be worth the chunk of money and Austin lifestyle that came after his contract.


(Bob Daemmrich)

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