‘Joe Rogan leaving YouTube’: Social Media’s Biggest Headline This Week

Man, what a week it’s been in the world of podcasting – I have to admit, I myself was shocked when I logged onto Facebook and saw the news on a friend’s feed: ‘Joe Rogan leaving YouTube to join Spotify exclusively’.

What I can tell you is this – I couldn’t be happier to hear the news, even if I still have yet to touch Spotify.

I have a love/hate relationship with YouTube.

I love a lot of content that I find on YouTube and support by way of subscriptions…

…and I hate YouTube.

Now, I won’t totally bash all of the moves initiated by Susan Wojcicki and her team. Try to see it as an endless tug of war and you don’t even have to use analogies, they just write themselves.

On the right of the tug of war is, of course, those with conservative viewpoints and on the left is, rather obviously, all the special interest groups. Both sides are tugging furiously away on that rope (Susan is said rops, BTW) without ever gaining much ground.

In the balance of the conflict is billions of dollars in advertising revenue, of which YouTube is desperately trying to preserve.

And this is where Joe Rogan leaving YouTube is such a big deal.

Though Joe personally identifies as being more to the left, let’s face it – he’s more of a centrist, really.

He’ll have Gavin McInnes on his show one day, and then Bernie Sanders, the next.

Either way, Joe Rogan polarizes both sides. In doing so, he also generates A LOT of views, which in turn help YouTube turn a handsome profit.

So with Rogan leaving YouTube (and taking his library of content with him, save for JRE Clips) to launch an exclusive, he’s giving the platform its first realistic view of what can result from its attempts to be excessively advertiser-friendly via censorship.

While I’ve heard all sorts of opinions as to why Joe is really making the move. Sure, the $100 million that Spotify is paying him no doubt weighs in as a huge factor.

Depending on what sources you go by, however, Joe’s already got an estimated net worth of about $25 million. Let that sink in for a second.

That’s already A LOT of dough to have in the bank. He can already buy whatever the fuck he wants, so the Spotify money is really just more sugar on top of an existing pile of sugar, and that’s why I don’t believe the move to be entirely money-motivated.

If you watch Rogan’s show (as I do regularly), you’ll notice that in spite of his tremendous popularity, he’s just as prone to YouTube’s draconian rules as anyone else.

Ever notice how many times Joe has barked to his producer Jamie to show him and his guest a clip from a YouTube video, but not to splice it into the video for the viewers to see? As a result of this, the viewer has often been deprived of a piece of context relating to the conversation being had.

But that’s just the nature of the beast right there – because of YouTube’s overzealous copyright Joe is every bit at risk of having his content flagged and deleted as any other creator. True fair use will finally be available again.

We also can’t disregard YouTube’s notorious list of banned words that will get a video demonitized (or maybe even outright deleted). All it takes is one word and all your hard work can go to waste in a push of a button.

There is little doubt in my mind that the threats of the copyright strike system and the demonitized words list have weighed heavily in Joe’s decision.

Hopefully this will open the floodgates to a mass exodus and creators can once again go about doing what they do best – producing non-traditional content unencumbered.

There’s little doubt many creators will do as Rogan did and remove their entire content libraries, crippling the platform’s watch time and costing YouTube billions in lost revenue.

In our next post, we’ll take an inside look at YouTube’s chief, Susan Wojcicki, and examine how and why she has been allowed to foul the platform the way she has over the past four years.