Google Searches for ‘Joe Rogan’ Have Dropped 40% Since His Spotify Exclusive Began

Google searches of 'Joe Rogan' between April 26th, 2020 and early April, 2021 (source: Google Trends)

Google searches of ‘Joe Rogan’ between April 26th, 2020 and early April, 2021 (source: Google Trends)

Is Joe Rogan losing relevance following his exclusive podcast deal with Spotify? That’s been a difficult question to answer, though Google search traffic data now indicates a serious drop in broader interest since the deal began.

Joe Rogan reportedly received a handsome $100 million for inking his exclusive podcast deal with Spotify. But that deal, which shifted all episodes onto the Spotify platform, may be damaging the podcaster/comedian’s overall influence.

Spotify hasn’t disclosed any listener data on The Joe Rogan Experience, so it’s been impossible to determine if followers have dropped off (or increased) after the shift to the streaming platform. Anecdotally, plenty of Rogan fans publicly swore off the podcast after the switch, especially after episodes stopped appearing on YouTube — and older episodes got scrubbed from the video platform (incidentally, Spotify also deleted 42 Joe Rogan Experience episodes prior to the transition, a move that may have also damaged overall audience interest).

Others simply reported that they weren’t listening to Rogan anymore — but again, it’s been hard to draw any conclusions.

But now, there’s data suggesting that overall interest in Rogan has waned since his exclusive Spotify shift. According to Google Trends search traffic data, searches of ‘Joe Rogan,’ including related searches like ‘Joe Rogan podcast’ or ‘Joe Rogan MMA,’ have dropped roughly 40% since Spotify announced its deal last year.

Spotify announced its Rogan deal in May of 2020, but Rogan didn’t exclusively start recording for the platform until September 1st. By December 1st, episodes were only available on Spotify, and earlier episodes on YouTube and other streaming platforms were also ripped down. After that point, Google search volumes experienced a protracted drop.

In the six months leading up to the show’s December 1st exclusive start, Google Trends data shows an average search index for ‘Joe Rogan’ of 57.9.  After the week of December 1st and during 2021, that index value has dropped to 34.6, which constitutes a 40.2% drop in search volume.

That suggests that Rogan’s episodes aren’t drawing as much attention now that they’re contained within the Spotify platform. But this isn’t a paywall problem: Spotify isn’t limiting The Joe Rogan Experience to Premium subscribers, suggesting other reasons for the lowered impact. One major difference could be YouTube, which is highly viral, more open, and easier to use than Spotify — not to mention tightly integrated into Google Search itself.

Plenty of Rogan followers complained about the shift away from YouTube, and those complaints got noticed. Sensing a major functionality compromise, Rogan demanded that Spotify integrate video into its platform to promote viral sharing of his shows. That request was granted, though Spotify’s video experience is still clunky at best.

But perhaps things are getting better. Back in March, Rogan stated that Spotify is ‘slowing getting its s—t together,’ but noted that comments will probably never be part of his show anymore.

“It’s not as smooth as it probably should have been when we first transitioned over in December, but [Spotify] just wasn’t ready for the volume,” Rogan explained. “They had never had a show — first of all, they created video because of the conversation we had about this podcast. They wanted the podcast to be audio-only, and my manager was like, ‘think about the Elon Musk moment when Elon Musk was smoking weed.’ That is a viral moment that only happens with video.”

Beyond that, Spotify hasn’t integrated comments into its podcast platform — and may never. “That’s where YouTube shines over all over forums, is that they have that comments section, and I think Spotify needs to recognize that,” Rogan stated. “And I’ve tried to talk to them about that, and there’s been some discussion about putting comments — but one of the things they said is, ‘if we put comments on one podcast, we have to put them on all podcasts.’ But I go, ‘why? Just put them on mine, just put them on mine.’”

7 Responses

  1. Avatar
    ElDorado

    Rogan tried to mitigate this by putting clips on YouTube. But I think he’s lost a lot of regulars.

    • Avatar
      ams3olson

      Once again, someone thinks it is okay to change the recipe and expect to get the same results. If it sells don’t muck with it. It is selling for a reason! Loved the Rogan podcast for years. Tried migrating but haven’t listened to many. I’ll find other content on YouTube.

  2. Avatar
    Hard Worker

    He sold out for $100 million. Rogan used to be about letting all voices be heard but now he’s letting Spotify pull down everything they don’t agree with, like Twitter and FB it’s online dictatorship.

    • Avatar
      Stevie

      And that is exactly it. He sold out, which put control of his content in the hands of others. He knew what he was doing. It’s called a cash grab.

  3. Avatar
    BAC

    Joe Rogan is tedious and superficial when he’s talking about anything other than jock crap. He’s like the modern day Larry King. I don’t know why this site is so obsessed with him. Rogan is boring, and he’s a whore. Spotify overpaid.

    Hey musicians, you want to know where your royalties are going at Spotify? You are subsidizing Rogan and all the other stupid podcast platform acquisitions in the past couple of years. Podcasts really don’t make much money. Rogan was smart to take the cash grab, but he is a phony meathead. And he’s only 5 foot 7 inches tall. That’s short.

  4. Avatar
    Godfrey

    Search traffic dropped because everyone knows he’s on Spotify. No need to search. I’m tired of all these superficial news articles pretending like they actually have information to share. It’s garbage reporting. Quit trying to create tension between fans and critics for your own benefit. He is doing well on the Spotify platform. Most who enjoyed his podcast have no issue viewing it on a different platform, why would they? I bet it actually increased his viewership, why wouldn’t it? The only people selling out here are the so called journalists who write these clickbait articles.