Contrary to popular belief podcasts can be exciting. Especially when an eccentric cast of characters and millions of dollars are at stake.
No longer are the caricatures of smooth and dulcets tones whispered into a microphone representative of the podcast landscape. Instead the industry is in the midst of an arms race for top talent and costs are adding up.
Take for example this week at Barstool Sports.
The media and entertainment company isn’t afraid of controversy even at their own potential detriment. Earlier this week when The New York Post reported that the hosts of the popular Barstool podcast Call Her Daddy were unhappy with their current situation and leaked their original contract details.
Dave Portnoy, founder and president of Barstool Sports, responded by posting a 30 minute update on the Call Her Daddy podcast feed walking listeners step-by-step through the ongoing negotiations between Barstool and the Alex and Sophia, the cohosts of Call Her Daddy.
According to Portnoy, Barstool was very receptive to the cohosts needs including eventually coming around on most of their requests including the right to retain the show’s intellectual property (a rarity in the podcast field) and shortening the length of their three year contracts. But after receiving this offer Portnoy claimed the cohosts went radio silent before attempting to “move on the goalposts,” on what they wanted.
This, along with Sophia’s HBO connected boyfriend, led Portnoy speculate that the cohosts were negotiating in bad faith and shopping their podcast around to other suitors.
So what does this all mean for Barstool? More clicks, downloads, hits, views and online purchases of new Call Her Daddy merchandise.
For instance Portnoy’s PSA podcast episode on the Call Her Daddy feed jumped to the top of Apple Podcast’s Top Episodes list.
And who did Call Her Daddy knock off the podcast throne? The perennial podcast powerhouse Joe Rogan.
Rogan also made news this week, not from his chart topping numbers, but because of his new multiyear exclusive deal with Spotify.
The strategic move from Spotify allows their platform to be the sole home for The Joe Rogan Experience starting September 1st and the future home for additional video content.
This is the latest in a string of acquisitions from Spotify that include Gimlet Media last year and The Ringer earlier this year as the podcast platform continues to build their audio library in the same vein of Netflix, Hulu, and HBO competing for TV show runners or Nike, Adidas, and Under Armor competing to represent the top athletes.
The Joe Rogan Experience will be available for both free and paid subscribers on Spotify.