Joe Rogan recently talked about how things have been going since his move to Spotify and claims from his fans that the streaming service is censoring him and deleting older controversial episodes from his catalog. Rogan said during a February podcast episode that it is true some of his past episodes weren’t moved over to the Spotify platform, but said the streaming service is not censoring him or dictating who he interviews.
Rogan announced in May 2020 the Joe Rogan Experience would be moving to Spotify exclusively after previously posting his podcast episodes on YouTube, Apple podcasts and elsewhere, gaining a following of more than 9.5 million people. According to The Wall Street Journal, Rogan’s deal with the streaming service is worth more than $100 million. The deal included moving hundreds of episodes dating from his 11 years of podcasting onto Spotify alone.
Rogan said during his announcement, “We’re going to be working with the same crew doing the exact same show. The only difference will be it will now be available on the largest audio platform in the world.” But the move has drawn skepticism from some of his fans who have been hesitant to follow him to Spotify and have claimed the company has forced him to change his show.
“They don’t give a f*** man,” Rogan told comedian Fahim Anwar during the February podcast episode. “They haven’t given me a hard time at all.”
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Rogan Says He Told Spotify ‘I Don’t Care’ When the Company Said There Were a Few Episodes It Didn’t Want on Its Platform
Shortly after the Joe Rogan Experience episode library moved over to Spotify, Rogan’s fans realized not all of his shows made the shift. The shows that appeared to have disappeared on the new platform include interviews with controversial guests like Infowars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos and an interview with Chris D’Elia, who has been accused of sexual misconduct.
Despite an older podcast interview with Jones being removed from the show’s catalog during the Spotify move, Rogan had the Infowars host back on the Joe Rogan Experience in October 2020, in a sign to fans that the streaming service wasn’t dictating who he has as guests. That episode briefly disappeared from Spotify after it was uploaded, but Rogan said it was a glitch.
“The episode that was uploaded to Spotify had some cache issues, and it wasn’t working correctly on some devices so the engineers had Jamie re-upload it with the same date, thinking it would fix the problem but still play for everyone like it was never missing,” Rogan said on Instagram in October.
During his February interview with Anwar, Rogan revealed Spotify did tell him some episodes weren’t going to be allowed on its platform as part of the new deal. Rogan didn’t seem too concerned about that decision.
“There’s a few episodes they didn’t want on their platform that I was like ‘OK, I don’t care,'” Rogan said. “But other than that, terms of what I do in the future, the big test was having Alex Jones on. A lot of people were like ‘They’re telling Joe Rogan what he can do and what he can’t do’ and I was like, ‘they’re not. They’re not. And let’s show you.’ Alex Jones and Tim Dillon was like one of my favorite podcasts I’ve done.”
Rogan Says He Was Accused of Being ‘Transphobic,’ a ‘Bad Person’ & a ‘Shock Jock’ by Spotify Employees When He Joined the Company’
Rogan said when his partnership with Spotify was first announced, some Spotify employees responded with backlash and threatened to walk out in protest. “There’s been a lot of weirdness. You know we were talking about how people get a sense of who a person is without actually communicating with them, without being there with them and you can define someone or have this like distorted perspective of who someone is without actually communicating with them,” Rogan said.
“That’s one of the things that happened with Spotify, with like some of their staff, they thought I was transphobic or thought I was a bad person. I saw one of their staff say I was a shock jock. I’m not even remotely like that,” Rogan said.
Rogan previously said in October 2020 about Spotify, “Listen, me on the outside reading these f****** articles, like ‘Oh my God, Spotify is censoring Rogan. Spotify has said nothing. Listen to me, nothing. They haven’t said anything to my manager, they haven’t said anything to me. They’ve said nothing. They’ve apparently had meetings. But they have a lot of meetings. They have meetings about all sorts of shows. They have meetings about the music they have.”
Rogan added during an interview with Alex Jones and comedian Tim Dillon, “It’s an open-minded company They treat their employees very well. They let them have discussions about things. And I don’t know what these discussions are like. I don’t know what happens, I really don’t. But, in terms of them silencing me, zero. There’s been nothing.”
Rogan added, “I don’t know what the actual conversation has been from Spotify talking to these employees, but if these employees are listening, I would tell you emphatically I am not in any way anti-trans. Not in any way. I am 100 percent for people to be able to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t harm other people. If you choose to do anything, whatever you want, whatever your personal choice is, I am happy if you’re happy.” Rogan said he is “100 percent open minded” and has said he is not right wing, rebutting claims from some of his detractors.
Rogan Says He & His Manager Insisted Spotify Create a Video Platform for His Podcast
Anwar told Rogan that as a fan he has found it hard to watch the Joe Rogan Experience episodes on his TV. But Rogan said things should be improving on that front. “It’s eventually going to be on all platforms, in terms of television based platforms,” Rogan said. “They’re working on a bunch of different platforms. But it’s not as smooth as it probably should have been when they first transferred over in December, but they just weren’t ready for the volume. They created video because of the conversation we had about this podcast.”
Rogan said Spotify initially wanted his show to be audio only. “My manager was like, ‘think about the Elon Musk moment when Elon Musk was smoking weed.’ That was a viral moment that only happens with video,” Rogan said. “Spotify was like, ‘you’re right’ and then they started working on the video platform.”
Rogan said, “I’ve actually on purpose never advertised for this show. I’ve never asked people to watch it, I’ve never gone on television shows and promoted it, I’ve never taken out any billboards or ads, Spotify did some of that stuff when I switched over to it but I never did any of it.”