Popular podcast host and cultural commentator Joe Budden said he will leave Spotify. After a two-year exclusive run of his “The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory and Mal” on the service, claiming the audio provider is “pillaging” his audience. Joe spent the bulk of his three-hour show dismantling his exclusive deal with the streaming giant. Explaining why he wouldn’t be renewing his contract when it expires next month.
“September 23rd, I cannot tell you where this podcast will be,” Budden said. “But as it stands, I can tell you where it will not be, and that is Spotify. Spotify never cared about this podcast individually. Spotify only cared about our contribution to the platform.”
He added his podcast has been “undermined and undervalued” and cited a $250 million deal with Bill Simmons for The Ringer, which he said shows Spotify is “actively pitting against us. You pillage the audience from the podcast, and you’ve continued to pillage each step of the way without any regard” for the listeners”, he said. In addition, Budden compared Spotify’s podcast business to his experience in the music business — where he said artists are typically exploited financially.
In a statement provided to Variety, a Spotify rep said, “It was our desire to keep Joe Budden on Spotify. As Joe referenced on his show, we made him a considerable offer. One that was significantly larger and many times the value of the existing agreement and reflective of the current market and size of his audience. Unfortunately, we could not come to terms and we respect his wishes to find a new home for his show.” Budden’s response, “Fuck y’all & that deal.”
Budden, called “the Howard Stern of hip-hop” by the New York Times, first launched his podcast in early 2015. He brought it exclusively to Spotify under a deal in August 2018. “The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory and Mal” is hosted by Budden, alongside his friends Jamil “Mal” Clay and Rory Farrell. The show focuses on hip-hop news, events and culture. Check out the segment of the podcast below.