The tweet is a screenshot of a document sent by its CEO to Rogan offering “100 million bucks” over four years for him to transfer his show to Rumble from Spotify (NYSE:SPOT). While the missive’s last sentence is “And yes, this is totally legit,” it is not clear whether any thing will come of the tweet or the document.
Rogan signed a multi-year exclusive licensing agreement with Spotify in May 2020, reportedly worth more than $100 million and there has not yet been any indication that Spotify would let go of that exclusivity. The relationship between the host and platform has been rocky in recent weeks, however.
Beginning in late January, a number of artists including Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and David Crosby have announced they are pulling their own catalogues from Spotify in protest of Rogan’s on-air remarks characterized as vaccine misinformation. Although Spotify publicly stood with Rogan through this wave, the platform then removed about 100 past episodes of Rogan’s show in which he used racial slurs or other objectionable language.
Rumble’s offer to the host includes a pledge of “no censorship” noting that the platform stands with Rogan and his “desire for real conversation.” Parallel to CF VI’s rise in the markets today, Spotify is also down about 2.8%, adding to a slide that began in November.
It remains to be seen whether any shows will be going anywhere, but for Rumble to at least make the offer is in line with its brand, purporting to offer a free speech haven that in particular features conservative voices that have been booted from mainstream platforms. The enthusiasm has trickled over to SPACs with pending combinations with similar conservative causes.
Digital World (NASDAQ:DWAC), which is merging with the upstart Trump Media & Technology Group, is up 9%, while Digital World Chairman and CEO Patrick Orlando’s other SPAC, Benessere Capital (NASDAQ:BENE) is also feeling the love, up about 0.2%.
But, just as Spotify is taking the hit in this phase week’s episode of the “free speech” debate, it is yet to be seen how well platforms like Rumble and Trump Media’s upcoming platform Truth Social will walk their own tight ropes with the partners they themselves depend on to thrive.
Today also brought news that Trump Media is already working with developers to make sure that it will not get booted for violating the terms of the Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) app stores. It has signed on Hive, a company that “does AI-based content moderation, to flag sexually explicit content, hate speech, bullying and violent content,” according to a Reuters report.