Joe Rogan Had Spotify’s Most Popular Podcast in 2020

Joe Rogan is known to many as an MMA enthusiast, a stand-up comedian with a penchant for controversial humor, and a talented actor. However, Rogan has far and away achieved his greatest popularity for his record-breaking podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.

For years, the podcast has entertained listeners of all ages, genders, political leanings, and interests. Despite the relatively simple forward, the podcast has become a staple in entertainment for millions of people — and according to new data from Spotify, it is now one of the most-listened-to podcasts in the world. 

Why is ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ so popular?

Joe Rogan smiling in front of a blurred background
Joe Rogan | Vivian Zink/Getty Images

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When The Joe Rogan Experience premiered in 2009, host Rogan was best known for his work as the host of the hit reality competition show Fear Factor. Many people might have dismissed Rogan as their last pick to moderate serious political discussions and far-fetched conspiracy theories — but Rogan proved the naysayers wrong, and his podcast became a hit in short order.

The format of The Joe Rogan Experience is simple and features Rogan chatting informally with his featured guest. With his producer Jamie Vernon at his side, mainly to handle technical issues that crop up during the course of each episode, Rogan began gaining a cult following for his open-minded approach to conversation, even when it is with people who have wildly differing political opinions and ideologies.

The podcast has only grown more popular over the years, as Rogan has welcomed everyone from Elon Musk to Miley Cyrus to sit and chat with him. Fans love the podcast for the way that Rogan takes ownership of his platform, and for the way he has changed up the conventional podcast format. Sometimes his podcasts are an hour, sometimes they are three hours, whatever the conversation demands. 

‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ recently moved to Spotify

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Since its launch in 2009 until late 2020, fans were able to listen to episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience on nearly any platform that they chose. When Rogan announced, in the summer of 2020, that he had signed an exclusive deal with Spotify, many fans were upset.

Some believed that the platform would censor Rogan, a personality who clearly thrives on free speech. Others believed that Spotify would try to exercise creative control over Rogan and the guests that he chose to feature on the podcast. 

Still, the deal was highly lucrative for Rogan, who netted a reported $100 million for his deal with the streaming service. For the past few months, episodes of the podcast have still been available on a variety of streaming platforms. But as of December 1st, all episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience are exclusively available on Spotify. 

‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ is now Spotify’s most popular podcast

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Ultimately, Rogan’s deal with Spotify has proven to be as profitable for them as it has been for Rogan himself. According to a recent Billboard report, Rogan’s podcast is the most popular podcast on the streaming platform for the year 2020.

The report states that the podcast has grown in popularity since being initially added to the platform three months ago, and has remained consistently at the top ever since. While The Joe Rogan Experience is far and away the winner of the popularity contest, a few other podcasts ranked high as well — these include TED Talks Daily, The Michelle Obama Podcast, Call Her Daddy, and The Daily.

For Rogan, 2020 has been a year of extreme highs, and it seems likely that his success will only continue into 2021. Stay tuned to Showbiz Cheat Sheet for all the latest entertainment news!