header image above is from the official spotify press release page
Anchor.fm is one of the platforms where launching your own podcast, all by yourself, is the easiest thing to do! Spotify bought Anchor.fm recently. I had switched to Anchor.fm sometime back too. Mainly because of how easy it was to upload and publish. All other method prior to Anchor.fm were painful compared to it. I had written a series of article on how to record and launch your podcast, before I signed up to Anchor.fm. Those article were immediately redundant once I got on Achor.fm!
Since Spotify bought over Anchor.fm, my podcast has also been available on Spotify. I didn’t think much of it because fundamentally, the thing about podcasts is that they can be published on any platform or accessed from any podcast app.
Joe announced that JRE will be available exclusively on Spotify by the end of 2020. I’m not sure how that works – will I not be bale to listen to his podcast from any other Podcast app? Will it even be a “podcast” then? Is this going to change the definition of what a “podcast” is?
Spotify’s stock price went up 11% since Joe’s announcement. There is speculation that Spotify paid him upwards of a 100 million USD – no confirmations are forthcoming though. Joe spends 8-10 minutes on ads at the beginning of each of his podcast’s episodes currently. The ad company, called PPP, is apparently in talks with Spotify to continue serving ads on JRE. So that doesn’t look like it’s going to change.
In the larger scheme of things, as a listener, I don’t care where Joe takes his podcast – I will follow. I suppose the same might be true for a majority of his listeners, especially when the podcast remains free to access. You will not need a Spotify Premium subscription to be able to listen to the JRE. But, will Spotify serve its annoying litany of ads in the middle of the JRE? Or will the ads be limited to the ones that Joe already reads out at the beginning and the end of each episode?
These are clarifications that I’m not aware of – and I’m not sure anyone is aware of at this point. I’m not sure they even matter – in the larger scheme of things.
One of the first things I did after I heard this announcement was to spend some time on my podcast descriptions and tags on Anchor in a way that it reflects on Spotify at least. If you search for “Brand Building India” or “Online Brand Building”, my The Naina Redhu Experience podcast shows up on the top 5 search results.
But, how many people are searching for podcasts on Spotify anyway? My guess is that not a lot were but now, after this JRE announcement, more will.
Apparently Spotify has invested hundreds of million of dollars in original podcasts over the past few years. I discovered this only after reading about the JRE announcement though. If you said “podcast”, Spotify would not have been in my top 5, until now.
I’m unaware of the numbers for the JRE but for my own podcast, I know that 30% of my listeners come from Apple Podcasts – this is according to the analytics data provided on my Anchor.fm dashboard. If JREs numbers are anywhere close to that ( some estimates assume at least 60% of Joe’s listeners come from Apple Podcasts ), there is a chance that some might not want to try a new platform only because Joe is on it. At the same time, loyal listeners will follow, in my assessment.
Coming to YouTube. I’ve read more than a few article saying that this is huge loss of YouTube. I don’t think so. There still isn’t another platform like YouTube. If I want to upload a video, I think of YouTube. Whether it is a podcast video or a travel vlog or a fashion documentary etc. – it’s going on to YouTube. It seems like YouTube is too big to fail at this point. Everyone who makes any kind of video, is on YouTube. So, JRE leaving the platform is merely a blip on YouTube’s radar. A huge gain for Spotify no doubt. Spotify says that the JRE is the most searched-for podcast on their platform – seems like a good fit in that sense.
This is probably the biggest change that the JRE podcast has seen since Joe started it in 2009. 11 years is a long time in the Internet world. And 11 years of podcasting, even more so. I launched my podcast only in 2014/15 and I have never been consistent or regular with it.
For those of you still scratching your head about who Joe Rogan is, he’s a comedian, a UFC commentator, a podcaster and I’m a fan. I’ve met him a couple of times outside The Comedy Store in Los Angeles. Just for a selfie though – a proper conversation with Joe is a dream. ( Yes I’m aware of most of the criticism that his opinions / podcast draw – I’m still a fan. )
The best part about this deal is of course that Joe gets to retain full creative control over his podcast because without that, it wouldn’t be The JRE.
The official Spotify press release also mentions that the video episodes of JRE will also be available exclusively on Spotify as in-episode “vodcasts”. Not sure what this means yet but sounds exciting. Will I, as a regular podcaster, also get to upload my vodcasts to Spotify via Anchor? I guess we shall soon find out.
Till then, I have no plans to quit YouTube. Even Joe isn’t entirely quitting YouTube – JRE will still upload content in the form of snippets and possibly drive traffic to JRE on Spotify.
I do wonder what Jamie thinks of all this. Will this increase his work load or reduce it? Interesting times!