FEBRUARY 07, 2022
Video streaming platform Rumble has publicly offered Joe Rogan $100 million for a four-year, censorship-free, contract.
Rogan signed a $100 million deal giving Spotify exclusive rights to “The Joe Rogan Experience” in 2020.
However, Spotify is facing increasing pressure to censor the popular podcast over Rogan’s willingness to speak to guests with different perspectives about the pandemic. Though the company has said they will not pull the plug on the podcast, they have removed approximately 70 episodes from their library in recent days.
Launched in 2013, Rumble runs its own infrastructure — so the company says it is “immune to cancel culture.”
Rumble went public through a deal with CF Acquisition Corp. VI with an initial enterprise value of $2.1 billion in December.
In a letter to Rogan tweeted by the company, CEO Chris Pavlovski urged Rogan to join Rumble.
Pavlovski wrote, “We stand with you, your guests, and your legion of fans in desire for real conversation. So we’d like to offer you 100 million reasons to make the world a better place.”
“How about you bring all your shows to Rumble, both old and new, with no censorship, for 100 million bucks over four years?” Pavlovski continued.
The letter concluded, “this is our chance to save the world. And yes, this is totally legit.”
Though episodes are being removed, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has defended keeping Rogan on the platform.
Ek told upset employees last week that the solution is not to get rid of Rogan’s podcast, but perhaps to obtain more exclusive content from different perspectives.
“The real thing here is to try to go for an even broader set of exclusives that represent even more voices,” Ek said.
“There are many things that Joe Rogan says that I strongly disagree with and find very offensive. But let me go back to what I said earlier, if you want even a shot at achieving our bold ambitions, it will mean having content on Spotify that many of us may not be proud to be associated with,” he continued. “Not anything goes, but there will be opinions, ideas, and beliefs that we disagree with strongly and even makes us angry or sad.”
He pointed out that there have been episodes of the podcast that did not make it onto the platform because they violated the rules.
Rogan recently posted a video on his Instagram account addressing the controversy. He promised to include a more balanced view of the coronavirus and the vaccines, encouraging all sides of the issue to be explored.
“I don’t want to just show the contrary opinion to what the narrative is,” Rogan said. “I want to show all kinds of opinions so that we can all figure out what’s going on, and not just about COVID, about everything, about health, about fitness, wellness, the state of the world itself.”