The Charm Of Joe Rogan Experience

And why the Spotify deal might take it away

Kovid Rathee
3 min readJun 1, 2020


A major part of the charm that Joe Rogan’s podcast possessed was not just listening to the stimulating, humorous conversations with his extraordinary guests but also watching them — how they sit, how they behave, how they react to said things. All of that goes away with the Spotify deal assuming that none of the new episodes will be broadcasted on YouTube.

Spotify by the end of a couple of months of Rogan would have acquired tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands new users and some of them will eventually become paying users. Anyway, that’s the whole idea behind the acquisition — one brand acquiring another to sell more stuff.

I don’t have any doubt that his podcast will do very good on Spotify. He has built that credibility. I won’t be surprised if someday Noam Chomsky pays a visit on his podcast. Bernie has.

But again, it’s about that certain charm that his whole studio setup stands for — all the weird toys and showpieces. How would we see Elon Musk smoke a joint live on YouTube? Do we even want such a world? I guess, it doesn’t matter what we want. It matters what Joe Rogan wants.

People like Sam Harris and Eric Weinstein have made it big on the audio-only podcasts. There are several other examples in sight but none of them match the kind of following and affection that Joe Rogan has garnered over the years. I always wonder if how an episode would play out with Christopher Hitchens as his guest, or maybe all four horsemen of the anti-apocalypse. Joe Rogan missed that opportunity, I suppose.

Talking of the IDW, Joe Rogan has also attracted fair criticism to the way he does the podcast. Sometime last year, Justin Peters of Slate did a very interesting piece on Rogan which said —

From its unambitious beginnings as a venue for Joe Rogan to shoot the shit with his comedian buddies, The Joe Rogan Experience has become one of the internet’s foremost vectors for anti-wokeness. With its mellow, welcoming vibe, its pretense of common sense, and its general reluctance to push back on any of its guests’ ideas save for only the battiest, the podcast has become the factory where red pills get sugarcoated.



Kovid Rathee

I write about tech, Indian classical music, literature, and the workplace among other things. 1x engineer on weekdays.