So far, Spotify is standing with podcast juggernaut Joe Rogan, but competition is already moving in.
The CEO of Rumble, a Canada-based free speech video platform, tweeted Monday morning offering “The Joe Rogan Experience” host $100 million over four years to leave Spotify and join his service.
“We stand with you, your guests, and your legion of fans in desire for real conversation,” Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski wrote in a memo posted to the company’s Twitter account. “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?”
“This is our chance to save the world,” he added. “And yes, this is totally legit.”
The statement from the Rumble executive comes on the heels of a statement from Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, who told employees Sunday in an internal memo that the platform won’t be “silencing” Rogan.
“There are no words I can say to adequately convey how deeply sorry I am for the way The Joe Rogan Experience controversy continues to impact each of you,” Ek wrote in the memo, according to Fox Business. “I think it’s important you’re aware that we’ve had conversations with Joe and his team about some of the content in his show, including his history of using some racially insensitive language.”
“Following these discussions and his own reflections, he chose to remove a number of episodes from Spotify,” he continued. “He also issued his own apology over the weekend. While I strongly condemn what Joe has said and I agree with his decision to remove past episodes from our platform, I realize some will want more. And I want to make one point very clear — I do not believe that silencing Joe is the answer.”
Ek’s statement to Spotify employees comes after a handful of recording artists have pulled their music from the platform in protest of Rogan’s podcast, which migrated exclusively to Spotify in 2020 as part of a $100 million contract.
Additionally, a compilation video making the rounds on social media shows Rogan using the N-word over the years on his show. It is worth noting, though, the instances he used the word — while never appropriate — were taken out of context in the clip.
Rogan has apologized, though, describing his past use of the racial slur as “the most regretful and shameful thing I’ve ever had to talk about publicly.” He also removed some 70 episodes of his podcast from the Spotify library.