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Digital Music Systems

Joe Rogan Isn’t Spotify’s Biggest Problem: Video Podcast

This episode explores the Spotify controversy from a few angles you probably weren’t expecting.

Our lively debate this week on the ecoustics podcast centers around how the Spotify/Joe Rogan controversy will reshape the streaming music landscape. At this time Spotify is still the dominant streaming music platform holding around 31% marketshare, followed by Apple Music (15%) and Amazon Music (13%) according to a Q2 2021 report. By the end of 2021 Spotify revealed 180 million Premium subscribers in their Q4 2021 financial statements.

Global Streaming Music Subscriptions Q2 2021

With the most to lose, Spotify is doubling down on keeping The Joe Rogan Experience podcast on its platform for the time being, despite a trickle of musicians requesting removal of their music which started with Neil Young.

With music streaming platforms in the spotlight, the question of how much creators make per music stream is of greater significance than the debate of the moment. Most people may be be shocked to learn that tiny fractions of their subscription fee makes it into the hands of their favorite performers.

Is Spotify finding every loophole not to pay artists, or are their hands tied by the music labels and the competition? In 2021, Spotify collected over $3 Billion USD (2,689 EUR), but the company can’t even break even year-over-year. Where is the money going if it is not going to creators?

We do know $100 million of it went to Joe Rogan. But shouldn’t that money have been divided up amongst all the great musicians on Spotify?

Audio Only Podcast

This episode is Sponsored by the McIntosh Group

Where to listen:

Roundtable Group Discussion

The ecoustics team appearing in this episode:

This episode was recorded via YouTube Livestream on February 6, 2022 starting at 9:30pm EST.


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  1. MrSatyre

    February 7, 2022 at 6:16 pm

    Let’s not explore the controversy instead. The conflict of one person engaging in freedom of speech, expression, opinion, whatever—be they “right” or “wrong”—and someone else who is rabidly against anything that argues contrary to his own political agendas is not germane to this website.

    To be blunt: We don’t care. We care about audio and video gear, not something from the pages of People Magazine.

    • Ian White

      February 7, 2022 at 7:17 pm

      But as someone who champions free speech, I do care.

      I agree that the Neil Young controversy is not the bigger issue. If you watch/listen to the podcast, our premise is that Spotify’s biggest issue is not paying artists properly.

      And if Spotify’s stupidity causes a few million people to quit and look for alternatives, that becomes a high-end audio opportunity that does impact what we write and discuss.

      We care about music, movies, and art. Hardware is just a bunch of boxes to get you there.

      Ian White

      • Jason

        February 13, 2022 at 9:44 am

        Ian, I’m really sorry but you do not understand business. They paid 100 million to get millions of sign-ups of NEw listeners to the platform. They are not a charity. I would be they made a billion on Joe alone. How do you not comprehend BASIC economics.

        • Ian White

          February 13, 2022 at 1:08 pm


          I understand basic economics very well. I know that Spotify have made their money back on Rogan from new subscriptions and advertising and that’s why they are going to stick with him; most of the audience will stay. The media frenzy about this has already died off because the 24/7 news cycle has moved on to Russia/Ukraine, COVID protests in Canada, etc…

          I support Rogan’s right to free speech and nobody forces anyone to listen to his show. If you actually listened to the podcast, I’m possibly the only person who on the panel who does think Rogan wins either way.

          Neil Young got a lot of free publicity out of this and it made him money.

          Ian White

  2. Steve H

    February 12, 2022 at 5:49 pm

    The deal was $10 a month and we won’t pirate music. Good luck trying to get more. About 75% of Spotify’s costs are royalties so they operate the company on the other 25%. And just about broke even in 2021. The argument is how the 75% gets split up.

    The market has shown it won’t pay more than $10 a month to stream music in the United States All efforts to charge more for more quality have failed and there is fear in the music industry that lossless didn’t move needle when Apple and Amazon added it to their services. Tidal, Qobuz, and Deezer have shown the streaming market doesn’t care about little guys.

    • Ian White

      February 12, 2022 at 9:54 pm


      What a sad statement that is. Consumers spend $7 on a singe cup of crappy flavored coffee every 30 seconds in America but $10/month for unlimited access to music is their limit?

      I gladly spend $40/month on music streaming and think it’s a bargain. I use TIDAL and Qobuz 2-3 hours each day, while I run, in the car, and my wife uses it at her desk.

      I’ll spend more than that on a single record.

      The arts are doomed.

      Ian White

      • Jason

        February 13, 2022 at 9:42 am

        Yes Ian, That’s you. It’s not all of us. So Why don’t you pay for a few extra subscriptions – I’m sure they will love the extra revenue.

        • Ian White

          February 13, 2022 at 1:11 pm


          That’s your personal choice to spend or not to spend the money each month on streaming. I just find it sad that consumers put so little value on music at this point that spending more than $10/month on access to millions of songs is “too much.”

          Ian White

      • Chris

        February 13, 2022 at 1:34 pm


        It does often feel as if the arts are doomed. In a world full of TikTok (where everyone is a star in their own mind), homogenized “talent” competition TV, and “Reimaging” movies, we’re diluting and hobbling what little creativity remains out there. I didn’t think things could be any more fake and plastic than the 80’s, but here we are…

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