Joe Budden ends exclusive Spotify podcast deal, accusing them of “pillaging” his audience

Budden says he feels "undermined and undervalued" by the streaming giant

Podcast host and rapper Joe Budden has ended his deal with Spotify that has seen The Joe Budden Podcast with Rory and Mal hosted exclusively on the streaming platform for the last two years.

On the latest episode of the podcast, Budden talked at length about his dissatisfaction with the platform, and said that once the deal expires in September 23 he will no longer be hosting it there.

“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.”


He went on to say that “Spotify never cared about this podcast individually,” and that the streaming service “only cared about our contribution to the platform”.

Discussing Spotify’s recent deal with sports podcast The Ringer, reportedly worth almost $200 million, Budden said his own show has been “undermined and undervalued,” and said Spotify was “actively pitting [new shows] against us.”

Budden also accused Spotify of “pillaging” his audience to sell their wider podcast platform. “You pillage the audience from the podcast, and you’ve continued to pillage each step of the way without any regard [for the listeners].”

Spotify responded in a statement, saying: “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.”

Meanwhile, Spotify founder Daniel Ek provoked heavy criticism from musicians earlier this month, after saying that it’s “not enough” for artists to release albums “every 3-4 years”.