Austin-based ‘Joe Rogan Experience’ is world’s most popular podcast on Spotify

Spotify announced Rogan took top spot for podcasts in 2020 Wrapped rankings

UFC Commentator Joe Rogan will be moving to Texas, bailing Californian traffic, economy, and population. (Courtesy of UFC)

SAN ANTONIO – “The Joe Rogan Experience,” adopted by Austin in an internet-breaking move over the summer, has reached the top of Spotify after only being on the streaming platform for a few months.

Here’s one reason why Spotify paid Rogan, a comedian and UFC commentator, a reported $100 million: The podcast ranked No. 1 as the most popular podcast of the year globally on the service.

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Spotify announced Rogan took the top spot in its 2020 Wrapped: Top Songs, Artists, Playlists, and Podcasts lists, released on Monday.

It beat out “TED Talks Daily,” “The Daily” from the New York Times, “The Michelle Obama Podcast” and “Call Her Daddy,” which ranked 2nd through 5th, respectively.

Rogan signed a Spotify deal in May giving the company exclusive rights to run the podcast on their platform and phone, desktop application. According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal was valued at more than $100 million.

A frequent topic of the podcast is the current health crisis, which among other things, halted comedy shows for comedians across the country. During a podcast in late July with CEO and founder of the Spartan and Death Races, Joe De Sena, Rogan announced his intention to leave California for Texas to “have a little bit more freedom.”

“I just want to go somewhere in the center of the country,” Rogan said on the podcast. “Somewhere it’s easier to travel to both places and somewhere we have a little bit more freedom.”

By August, the production was already setting up shop in Austin, and by November, Rogan was already hanging out with Gov. Greg Abbott.

“The Joe Rogan Experience” hit Spotify on Sept. 1.

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About the Authors

Rebecca Salinas is an award-winning digital journalist who joined KSAT in 2019. She reports on a variety of topics for KSAT 12 News.

Jakob Rodriguez is a digital journalist at KSAT 12. He's a graduate of Texas State University, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the student-run newspaper, The University Star.

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