Looks like no press is bad press for Joe Rogan. In February, Time estimated that 11 million people tune into the podcast per episode. And in Friday’s episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, the podcaster claimed that all the recent controversy actually boosted his following on Spotify. “It’s interesting, my subscriptions went up massively — that’s what’s crazy,” he said. “During the height of it all, I gained 2 million subscribers.” Rogan has been criticized for his past use of the N-word, as well as concerns that his podcast has been a vector for misinformation about COVID-19. Spotify eventually removed dozens of Rogan’s past episodes and added an advisory warning to ones that mentioned COVID-19.
Although Spotify doesn’t publicly share subscriber numbers for The Joe Rogan Experience, a source reportedly pushed back against Rogan’s claims to The Hollywood Reporter. According to the source, Rogan’s audience did not spike due to a particular event and has instead been consistently growing. But either way, it seems that none of the pushback led to a drop in his listenership. Rogan himself might have a theory as to why. During the episode, he said that it was fortunate that it was CNN “who went for it” with its coverage, calling the network biased and describing its anchors as “socially weird.” Still, there were others who criticized Rogan. Earlier this year, artists including Neil Young and Joni Mitchell left the platform in a stand against Rogan. As Rogan’s following apparently continues to grow, we expect they won’t be back any time soon.