6 minutes | Jun 16th 2020

Deep dive into industry reactions to the Rogan Spotify experience, including Apple, Amazon, and YouTube moves.

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First up, Joe Rogan really shook up the podcast industry with his recent Spotify licensing deal rumored to be between 100 and 200 million dollars. The Joe Rogan Experience is still available to everyone until September, when it will become a Spotify exclusive, meaning only Free and Premium Spotify users can listen (and watch). Yes, his videos are leaving YouTube too. Spotify randomly tested video podcasts early in May, seemingly to make sure everything runs smoothly for Rogan’s onboarding. YouTube is understandably irked by losing Rogan’s channel with 8.5 million subscribers and is readying a full launch of something called YouTubeMusic.

It looks like a few other audio technology giants are looking to stake their claim in podcast exclusivity. Apple is ramping up its push into original podcasts mainly to support its TV and movie titles, reports Bloomberg. “(QUOTE) In the industry, podcast producers are waiting for Apple to put more of its money into the medium. So far, it’s just dipping its toe into original podcasts -- nothing like the massive bet that Spotify is placing on the category (UNQUOTE),” writes Bloomberg reporters.

Amazon is also said to be adding podcasts to its digital storytelling vertical, Audible. According to Bloomberg, Audible has already purchased shows from documentary producer John Battsek and comedians Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish. The acquisitions are part of a new multimillion-dollar “shopping spree” to help establish Audible as a destination for podcast fans (and fend off growing audio-storytelling competition like Spotify).

Leaders in the podcast industry have a lot of opinions. Some say the Rogan-Spotify deal is detrimental to podcasting. Some say it’s positive. Ashley Carmon of The Verge writes, “(QUOTE) There’s never been a single podcasting company that sells ads, makes shows, has an already-popular podcast player, and offers the tools to make new series…. Podcasting was once equal across all platforms, but it now seems like there will be two podcast worlds: Spotify versus everybody else. (UNQUOTE).”

Podcast Consultant Brett Johnson has a positive take. He says, “(QUOTE) It shows the amount of money that is moving into this industry to compensate talent. It also opens opportunities for podcasters. JRE moving from an open-source RSS leaves a void that will be filled with new talent (UNQUOTE).” A lot is changing in the podcast space, but there’s one thing we can agree on: it’s growing....