Joe Rogan’s Move to Spotify Hasn’t Helped His Long-Term Influence, According to Engagement Numbers

Joe Rogan is one of the most influential people in the podcast space, a multi-talented host of The Joe Rogan Experience. The podcast, which Rogan launched in 2009, is responsible for making Rogan a superstar.

Fans love the format of the podcast and the way that Rogan welcomes a wide variety of guests to the show, picking their brains and having interesting discussions. What fans have not appreciated, however, is the fact that Rogan recently made the podcast, previously available on a variety of platforms, exclusively available to stream on Spotify. It is likely due to this transition that has caused Rogan’s popularity to wane in recent months, according to a fascinating new study. 

When did Joe Rogan make the big move to Spotify?

Joe Rogan smiling into a microphone
Joe Rogan | Vivian Zink/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Since 2013, episodes of Rogan’s podcast were widely available on YouTube, for fans to watch and enjoy at their leisure. The YouTube clips allowed people to watch Rogan interact with his guests, from the private studio in California. However, in May 2020, Rogan made headlines when he announced that The Joe Rogan Experience would be exclusively moving to Spotify in December 2020, with only select clips available on YouTube. 

Experts estimated that Rogan would make around $100 million on the Spotify deal. However, fans quickly expressed their displeasure after hearing the news, calling him a sellout and questioning Rogan’s integrity. Rogan himself released a statement designed to reassure fans, saying “It will be the exact same show. I will not be an employee of Spotify.” Unfortunately, based on the findings of a new study, Rogan’s popularity definitely seems to have taken a hit in the past few months. 

Joe Rogan blue shirt background
Joe Rogan | Vivian Zink/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

While Spotify doesn’t reveal or disclose listener data, as early as May 2021, speculation was beginning that Rogan’s Spotify deal might have cost him a lot in terms of listener popularity. According to a recent study published by The Verge, Rogan’s influence as a media personality has waned since moving his podcast to Spotify.

The study primarily looked at the social media following that guests on Rogan’s podcast have, and the followers that they gain after their appearance on the podcast. Notably, prior to Rogan’s transition to Spotify, guests on the show could expect to gain around 4,000 Twitter followers in the week after their episode premiered. In the months since the transition, that number has declined by half.

The study also shows that Google searches featuring Rogan have dropped off in recent months as well, following his Spotify exclusivity. This suggests a big drop in listeners, although of course, Spotify won’t confirm this. While the report does note that these social media statistics could have other factors at play, such as Rogan’s followers moving away from Twitter in general, the coincidence is a hard one to ignore. 

Joe Rogan’s statements about COVID-19 might also have affected his popularity

Rogan has always been a major social media force and built a lot of trust with his audience and followers in the early years of the show by rarely accepting endorsement deals and avoiding typical “Instagram influencer” pitfalls on his own personal social media pages. However, the advent of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has caused the outspoken podcast host to put his foot in his mouth more than once. 

Rogan has been open about his distrust of the coronavirus vaccine, as well as the way that some government officials have handled the pandemic response. Rogan has even equated vaccine passports to “moving closer to a dictatorship.” Rogan’s stance has caused many to slam him on social media – and it could very well be that Rogan’s views on coronavirus, combined with the move to Spotify, are working together to tank his popularity.

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