Joe Rogan Wanted Podcast Comments on Spotify Years Ago — Now It’s Finally Happening

Joe Rogan Spotify podcast comments
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Joe Rogan Spotify podcast comments
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Photo Credit: Spotify

Years after Joe Rogan asked Spotify to add comments to podcasts, the feature is finally on the way, putting the streaming giant in more direct competition with YouTube as a place for creators to interact with their listeners.

When Spotify secured its exclusivity deal with Joe Rogan in 2020, his podcast episodes posted to YouTube were taken down as part of the arrangement — and with it, the comments that his listeners had left. Rogan asked Spotify to add the ability for listeners to comment on podcast episodes to fill that void, but Spotify said no; such a feature was complex to implement and subject to abuse.

But now, Spotify is finally adding the ability for listeners to leave comments on any podcast episode page that supports it, in the hopes of bringing the community together while enabling creators to better interact with their fanbase. Creators can like and respond to listeners’ comments, just like on YouTube, with complete control over which comments appear on their page.

The addition places Spotify in more direct competition with YouTube as a hub for creators to interact with their listeners. Unsurprisingly, it also follows the company’s swoop into video podcasts, which launched officially in 2022. This year, Spotify added support for video podcasts for its non-hosted podcasters.

According to Spotify, there are now over 250,000 video podcasts available on the platform. This year alone, 9 million Spotify listeners have also interacted with one of the new features designed for podcasts — an 80% year-over-year increase. Spotify’s internal data shows that listeners who engage with interactivity features on Spotify are about four times more likely to return to a show within 30 days. Further, they listen to two times more podcasts on average than those who don’t engage with these interactivity features.

Spotify also reports that over 70% of podcast listeners have said they wanted more way to engage with their favorite podcast hosts, and comments add the most obvious pipeline to do so. Notably, the feature is optional for podcast hosts.

“We’re taking a very deliberately slow and cautious approach with this one,” says Maya Prohovnik, VP of Podcast Product. “I think it’s a really important balance between sort of creative expression and keeping people safe and making sure that there are high-quality conversations happening.”

Creators can block commenters, with Spotify automatically checking for comments that violate its policies. Spotify is already testing different systems to allow comments to scale with creators, without the requirements of manual moderation.

“Just like with video podcasts, it’s clear to us there’s a need,” says Prohovnik. “People want that deeper engagement on Spotify, and that’s really our goal.”

The feature is slowly rolling out for consumers beginning this week on podcasts that have opted into showing comments on their pages, with the option becoming available to all Spotify users over the next month.