Joe Rogan Controversy Leads Rumble to Make Him a Public $100 Million Offer

On the same day it was reported that Spotify CEO Daniel Ek apologized to employees but maintained his commitment to keeping Joe Rogan's podcast on the platform, video hosting website Rumble tweeted at Rogan, offering to match the $100 million deal the podcaster reportedly signed to host his podcast exclusively on Spotify.

"How about you bring all your shows to Rumble, both old and new, with no censorship, for 100 million bucks over four years?" read the statement signed by Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski.

Hey @joerogan, we are ready to fight alongside you. See the note from our CEO @chrispavlovski...

Rogan signed a deal that was reportedly "worth more than $100 million," with Spotify in 2019 to be the exclusive host of his podcast, according to CNBC. That deal has come under fire in recent weeks as clips of old episodes have resurfaced containing Rogan's use of racial slurs and spreading COVID misinformation.

The controversy began earlier this month when a group of over 200 medical experts wrote a letter to Spotify asking the streaming platform to acknowledge the fact that Rogan's podcast had been a source of misinformation over COVID vaccines and treatments. In the following days, musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell had their music removed from the platform, citing the fact that they didn't want to share the space with Rogan.

Over the weekend, dozens of episodes of Rogan's podcast were removed from Spotify because of his use of slurs including the N-word and other reasons unspecified by the company.

"I've told you several times over the last week, but I think it's critical we listen carefully to one another and consider how we can and should do better. I've spent this time having lots of conversations with people inside and outside of Spotify—some have been supportive while others have been incredibly hard, but all of them have made me think," Ek said in the letter reported February 7.

The "Featured Channels" section of Rumble's website contains news outlets like Reuters and the New York Post, as well as several right-wing politicians and commentators like Donald Trump, Tusli Gabbard, Steve Bannon, Ben Shapiro, Dan Bongino and right-wing outlets like Newsmax.

The site has seen significant growth in recent years as conservatives, some of whom had their channels or profiles suspended by Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, began hosting their videos on the website. Two years ago, they occasionally topped one million average users per month, and in the third quarter of 2021, they reached 36 million, according to The Globe and Mail.

The Globe and Mail also reported that Rogan has previously mentioned Rumble on his podcast and said he thought the website could continue to grow. Pavlovski cited to The Globe and Mail former Republican Congressman Devin Nunes as one of the first high-profile conservatives to join the site after becoming concerned that his videos on YouTube were being intentionally hidden in searches by the company.

Update 2/7/2022 12:57 p.m.: This story has been updated to add additional background information on the controversy and the history of Rumble.

Joe Rogan Podcast Spotify Rumble Video
A public offer has been made from video hosting platform Rumble to podcaster Joe Rogan to match the $100 million deal he signed with Spotify. Above, Rogan introduces fighters during the UFC 269 ceremonial weigh-in at MGM Grand Garden Arena on December 10, 2021, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Carmen Mandato/Getty Images