I spent a cup of coffee at Spotify after Anchor was sold to the Swedish streaming giant. Picture the deal from Succession but a lot of actually smart people and no drama. One behind-the-scenes story though is I don’t think anyone told me and the deal was done months prior because I would have popped off on Twitter about it. I definitely would have so it was very smart to not tell me. The new 250 MILLION dollar deal Joe Rogan just signed proves that the internet never loses. Let me explain.
So why would Spotify give Joe Rogan $250 million and let him post the show to every platform? To quote the late great Omar Little, “Money ain’t got no owners, only spenders”
2.8 billion long-form views before they shut down the long-form version of the show on YouTube.
2.8 billion/1,000 (this is how you calculate a CPM) *$50 (it’s going to be way more because he is the top dog but let's make this simple) is 140 million dollars. Spotify is betting on what everyone in this game already knows you are NOT BEATING YOUTUBE ON DISTRIBUTION anytime soon. See below.
The only way YouTube is ever beaten (no it won't be Tiktok) is if there is a major AI breakthrough and you can search with your mind or some other wacky SciFi shit. The second biggest search engine on the planet is owned by the first, Spotify knows this and is betting on the scale of the advertising for the show vs their owned and operated. Smart move.
Having a show on one "station" made sense during the Howard Stern days via Sirius because there was no distribution. Now "distribution's" total addressable market is every person on the planet.
However, Joe Rogan is 56. He was not going to be the guy who rocks the boat but the NEXT Joe Rogan (my bet is Pat McAfee) won’t do any deal with any platform. The real future of this is going beyond platforms.
Eventually, we won’t talk about platforms anymore. When Bitcoin wins everything will be everywhere and you will pay in SATS to do everything on the internet. Listen to Joe Rogan for only 15 minutes? You pay less than the guy who listens for 2 hours. Want to interact with your favorite author as you are reading their book? Pay them a few SATS and his AI LLM will tell you exactly what he meant writing a specific chapter. The internet with a universal payment layer becomes the first value-for-value frontier ever created and we are starting it with Mash. I am not as bullish as Marty (frankly because I am not as smart and he is probably right it happens sooner than we all think) but I do think it will happen in my lifetime (I am closer to 40 than 30 so you can do the math). We will see an internet that resembles something vastly different before I die and Bitcoin will be the driving force behind it. Joe Rogan indirectly just started this future because distribution has just won over a closed system subscription-based approach to content monetization.
And who knows, with the amount of alien content Joe Rogan does, maybe the whole universe can listen to his show. That is a lot of distribution....