Rumble offers Joe Rogan $100M contract amid Spotify controversy

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Rumble is offering Joe Rogan a $100 million deal to join the Canada-based video platform in an attempt to woo the popular podcast host away from Spotify.

"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," Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski wrote in a note shared on Twitter. "How about you bring all your shows, both old and new, with no censorship, for 100 million bucks over four years? This is our chance to save the world. And yes, this is totally legit." 

Representatives for Rumble, Rogan and Spotify did not immediately return FOX Business' requests for comment.

In 2020, Joe Rogan went exclusive with Spotify in a deal that could net the podcaster roughly $100 million. 

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Rumble, which launched in 2013, reached a total of 39 million monthly active users in January, marking a 19% increase over the previous month. 

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In December, the company announced it would go public through a business combination with special purpose acquisition company CF Acquisition Corp. as part of its mission to take on Big Tech as an alternative to YouTube. That same month, Trump Media & Technology Group announced it had entered an agreement with Rumble to provide video and streaming services to TRUTH Social, a social media platform expected to launch at the end of the first quarter of 2022. 

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Rumble's offer comes as a slew of artists announced plans to remove their music from Spotify over accusations that Rogan's podcast has spread COVID-19 misinformation, including Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Nils Lofgren, Graham Nash, India Arie, David Crosby and Stephen Stills. 

Joni Mitchell and Neil Young are among the artists who have pulled their music from Spotify over Joe Rogan’s podcast content. (Getty Images / Getty Images)

In response to the controversy, Spotify said it would add a content advisory to podcasts on its platform that discuss the coronavirus. The company previously said that it had removed over 20,000 podcasts discussing coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic due to its detailed content policies. 

Joe Rogan at UFC 262 on May 15, 2021, at the Toyota Center in Houston. (Louis Grasse/PxImages/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images / Getty Images)

Rogan also promised he would do his best to "balance things out" with future COVID-19 related discussions. In addition to criticism over the podcast's discussions about COVID-19, Rogan came under fire for his previous use of the N-word, which he has since apologized for. 

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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek apologized to his staff in a memo on Sunday and noted that the company and Rogan's team had agreed to remove a select number of episodes from the platform. While Ek strongly condemned Rogan's previous use of "racially insensitive language", he added that he did not believe in "silencing" Rogan. 

"We should have clear lines around content and take action when they are crossed, but canceling voices is a slippery slope," he said. "Looking at the issue more broadly, it’s critical thinking and open debate that powers real and necessary progress."

Ek added that Spotify would invest $100 million in licensing, development and marketing of music and audio content from "historically marginalized groups."

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It is currently unclear what impact the Rogan controversy could have on Spotify's future user growth. As of the end of 2021, Spotify had a total of 180 million paid subscribers and 406 million monthly active users. The company expects those numbers to grow to 183 million and 418 million, respectively, in the first quarter of 2022. 

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