Spotify vs Joe Rogan Is Getting Ugly - Financhill

Spotify vs Joe Rogan Is Getting Ugly

Spotify vs Joe Rogan: The battle between Spotify staffers and Joe Rogan just heated up. 

If you’re not aware yet, Spotify staffers demanded directorial oversight over the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. The working theory is that guests like Alex Jones have triggered the response among staffers, who are threatening to strike or quit unless their demands are met.

Adding fuel to the fire is Rogan’s long-time UFC colleague, Chael Sonnen, who has fully backed Rogan and Spotify management for inking a $100 million deal with Rogan to exclusively license his content.

For readers not familiar with Sonnen, he’s a mixed martial artist and successful podcaster in his own right.  

Sonnen points out that Joe has the “courage” to publish long form content in a live format that Is unedited. Love it or hate it, it’s an untarnished product.

Indeed he goes further and claims that by exercising editorial control over his content, Rogan would lose guests like himself. 

Rogan’s freeform approach has been a massive hit.

Millions of subscribers flocked to Rogan’s channel to listen to his conversations that range from politics to comedy, from quantum mechanics to mixed martial arts.

Rogan has never claimed to be an expert but rather a student who gives his guests a platform to share opinions and discuss their viewpoints.

Such openness is unusual in a world of scripted TV shows, opinion-based news shows and heavily edited and produced pieces.

And it hasn’t been received well by the Big Apple-based staffers at Spotify. 

But Sonnen has ratcheted up the stakes by issuing a threat or the veneer of one that should the staffers push too far, content creators like himself will abandon Spotify.

Not only that but he emphasizes that Joe has a wide friend network, and clearly implies that other content publishers would join Sonnen in abandoning the Spotify platform if the Joe Rogan Experience is subjected to their demands.

Will others join Sonnen in backing Joe Rogan? Spotify management appear to have drawn a line in the sand by inferring that the actions of the staffers will be tolerated up to a point only.

The “revolt” at Spotify brings up questions of free speech. At what point is it acceptable for others to voice opinions that disagree with you? 

With increased polarization of opinions, the Joe Rogan vs Spotify vs Chael Sonnen battle has the potential to escalate to war if Spotify management don’t quash the uprising soon. 

The fallout risk could be the ire and departure of stakeholders who management likely values even more than employees: content creators.

For those backing Rogan and Sonnen, the prize is long form unedited interviews with mega influencers of our time like Elon Musk.

Clearly Rogan has tapped into a formula that resonated with his listening audience as the the Joe Rogan Elon Musk podcast accumulated almost 40 million views at last count.

Perhaps Spotify needs to leave the formula alone. When it’s working, let it be. Messing with the secret sauce could be the downfall not only of the JRE podcast but of Spotify too.

So far the escalating tensions haven’t hit Spotify share price much. If other publishers like Sonnen ratchet up the rhetoric and threaten the content flow to Spotify, a more pronounced SPOT stock price decline may be in the offing.

For now, SPOT trades slightly above its fair market value according to a discounted cash flow forecast, which places its intrinsic value at around $220 per share.

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