Joe Rogan won't be taking his immensely popular (if controversial) podcast to Rumble, the conservative-leaning video-streaming service, whose CEO just offered him $100 million to make the switch from Spotify.
Rogan made the remarks in the form of a joke during a surprise stand-up set in Austin, Texas, his adopted home, on Tuesday. Rogan performed his set then stuck around for a Q&A session with the audience afterward.
When asked about moving to Rumble, Rogan said "no", before elaborating.
"Spotify has hung in with me, inexplicably," Rogan added. "Let’s see what happens."
Rogan's comments come one day after Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski offered Rogan "100 million reasons" to switch over to his platform. z
Spotify paid Rogan north of $100 million in 2020 to take his podcast - the most popular podcast in the US - exclusively to Spotify. But it's important to remember that Rogan has been hosting his show for longer than Spotify has existed as a company. It's also worth noting that Spotify sees Rogan's show as a critical revenue-driving asset, unlike the music of Neil Young, which only drains the company's coffers.
Since last Friday, Spotify has pulled more than 70 episodes of Rogan's program from its app, bringing the total number of episodes removed to 113. CEO Daniel Ek claimed in an internal memo that the episodes were removed with Rogan's consent.
Rogan has been facing an evolving controversy over the past few weeks that first focused on his role in spreading "COVID misinformation", before metastasizing to focus on Rogan's "language on race," as Grammy-winning soul musician India Arie put it. A viral video of Rogan saying "the n-word" elicited another frank apology from Rogan, who said he has changed his views on saying the word, and that he hasn't uttered it at all in "years".
During his set, Rogan joked about the hypocrisy of iPhone users being angry with him for using 'the n-word', given the conditions under which the iPhone is made.
"I haven't used that word in years... but it's kind of weird people will get really mad if you use that word and tweet about it on a phone that’s made by slaves."
He also mocked the notion that people take health advice from him and his show.
"I talk shit for a living — that’s why this is so baffling to me," he said. "If you’re taking vaccine advice from me, is that really my fault? What dumb shit were you about to do when my stupid idea sounded better? 'You know that dude who made people eat animal dicks on TV? How does he feel about medicine?' If you want my advice, don’t take my advice."
Rogan has released several standup specials on Netflix, with his latest "Rocky Mountain High" having just premiered this week in the midst of all this controversy. We can't help but wonder if this controversy was manufactured to drive viewership on Netflix?