the streaming wars

Joe Budden Is Taking His Podcast Off Spotify, Says Platform ‘Undervalued’ Him

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Add Spotify to that long list of beefs. Joe Budden announced on his August 26 episode of The Joe Budden Podcast With Rory & Mal that he would leave the platform, where his show had been an exclusive for two years, by September 23, when his contract expires. Budden said his show has been “undermined and undervalued,” comparing the podcast to more recent acquisitions like Bill Simmons’s The Ringer network, which Spotify bought for nearly $200 million. “Spotify never cared about this podcast individually,” Budden claimed on the episode. “Spotify only cared about our contribution to the platform.” A Spotify rep told Variety that talks with Budden were “ongoing.”

When Budden’s podcast moved to Spotify in 2018, it was one of the biggest forays into podcasts for the platform at the time. Now, Budden claimed, “Spotify is pillaging. You pillage the audience from the podcast, and you’ve continued to pillage each step of the way.” In the podcast episode, he said the platform didn’t pay bonuses even as he exceeded listener expectations by 900 percent, and his team couldn’t take off for Christmas and New Year’s because it’d cause them to miss episodes. At one point, he claims, Spotify offered Rolex watches instead of bonuses, then said the watches Budden and his team chose were too expensive. Even as it loses Budden, Spotify continues to build its podcast network, acquiring Joe Rogan’s The Joe Rogan Experience earlier this year (set to hit the platform in September) and debuting a podcast by Michelle Obama earlier in August. As for Budden’s future, he added, “September 23, I cannot tell you where this podcast will be. But as it stands, I can tell you where it will not be, and that is Spotify.”

Joe Budden Leaving Spotify, Says Platform ‘Undervalued’ Him