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[Podcasting] Spotify + Joe Rogan: A good deal?

When Joe Rogan signed with Spotify in May 2020, it was thought to be a good deal. But was it?

In May 2020, Spotify was able to secure a deal with Joe Rogan to be the exclusive platform where his extremely popular podcast could be found. It was estimated that his shows were downloaded over 200M times every month at the time.

Spotify’s market value jumped within 24 hours of the announcement and the news made headlines all over the industry.

But it seems that since the deal went through, Rogan’s influence might have gone down.

The Verge published a report that studies various metrics that seem to indicate that the impact each episode had in the past is not in line with what the current episodes (only available on Spotify) are able to generate.

Because Spotify is not releasing listenership numbers, The Verge looked at some peripheral numbers that can act as good indicators. For example, prior to the Spotify deal, every guest that was invited on the show would get just over 4,000 new Twitter followers, but since May 2020, guests average just over 2,000 new Twitter followers when they appear on the show.

A series of other statistics seem to indicate that the show might not be as popular as it was.

What does that mean for the average brand, publisher or broadcaster?

This large-scale case is an example of the impact discoverability and content experience can have on your content’s success.

To be successful, your content needs to be discoverable, but also fairly easily accessible.

Whenever you place a gate in front of your content (requiring a subscription for example), you are hindering its reach. It might still be a great idea to do it, but the consequences need to be considered.

In Joe Rogan’s case, it is hard at the moment to say what is happening exactly, but the fact that it is not available anymore on all podcasting platforms (like it was) is one of the reasons that it is not reaching the audience it was in the past.

So how is your audience finding your content, discovering its existence, and once they do, is it easily accessible? If there is a gate in front of your content, is it justified? Is the value big enough so that people would switch platforms or give you personal information? All these questions are what occupy our days at Toast when developing content experiences. Do not hesitate to reach out to join the conversation.