Video platform Rumble offers Joe Rogan US$100 million to move podcast from Spotify

The Joe Rogan Experience podcast on Spotify
The company will also provide content for Donald Trump's TRUTH social. Photo credit: Getty Images

Rumble, a YouTube-style website popular among US right-wingers, has offered Joe Rogan US$100 million (NZ$150.6 million) over four years for all his shows days after the podcaster apologised for using racial slurs in his content.

Rogan is also facing backlash for propagating COVID-19 misinformation with his show, which is hosted on Spotify, after singer-songwriters including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell pulled their content from the streaming platform. 

The incidents prompted Spotify to add a 'content advisory' to any episode featuring discussion of COVID-19 as scientists and medical professionals urged the platform to prevent Rogan from spreading falsehoods.

"Dear Joe, we stand with you, your guests and your legion of fans in desire for real conversation," Rumble CEO Chris Pavlovski said in an email to Rogan posted on Rumble's twitter page on Monday, US time.

"How about you bring all your shows to Rumble, both old and new, with no censorship, for 100 million bucks over four years?"

Rogan did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

His show, The Joe Rogan Experience, has become one of the most popular podcasts on Spotify after the streaming platform started featuring it in 2020. The Wall Street Journal had then reported that Spotify's exclusive licensing deal for the show was worth more than US$100 million.

Shares of CF Acquisition VI, the SPAC that has agreed to take Rumble public, surged more than 18 percent on the news. The deal, announced in December, had valued Rumble at US$2.1 billion.

Launched in 2013, Canada-based Rumble has also entered an agreement to deliver video and streaming for TRUTH Social, former US President Donald Trump's proposed social media app which is due to launch soon.

Meanwhile Spotify's CEO Daniel Ek has reportedly sent an email to all staff apologising for the ongoing controversy over Rogan's podcast, according to Recode Media's Peter Kafka.

In the letter, posted by Kafka on Twitter, Ek said there were no words that could adequately convey how "deeply sorry" he was.

"Not only are some of Joe Rogan's comments incredibly hurtful - I want to make clear that they do not represent the values of this company," Ek wrote.

"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."

According to the website there are now 113 episodes of Rogan's podcast no longer available on Spotify, 70 of which were deleted in recent days amid the controversy.

As well as apologising, Ek said he was committing to spending US$100 million to license, develop and market music and podcasts by creators from historically marginalised groups.