Joe Rogan Is Abandoning the Open Internet

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Earlier today Joe Rogan made an announcement that shocked the Podcasting world and a cottage industry that has been built around the Joe Rogan Experience Podcast.

While there’s clear monetary advantage for moving his podcast to Spotify, there are downsides to the move for both Joe and his audience.

What is a Podcast, really?

The Joe Rogan Experience currently posts a podcast RSS feed that is an open standard that any podcast player can interpret and present to anyone to listen to. Regardless of which podcast player you use they all read the same RSS Feed to present the Joe Rogan Experience podcast to the listener. Here is the raw RSS feed that represents the JRE Podcast today: http://joeroganexp.joerogan.libsynpro.com/rss
Here’s a quick break down of the information that all podcast players use to present the podcast to you, the listener.

At the top level of the RSS Feed below you’ll see the basic podcast description details every podcast has at minimum

		<title>The Joe Rogan Experience</title>
		<pubDate>Tue, 19 May 2020 18:30:00 +0000</pubDate>
		<managingEditor>joe@joerogan.net (joe@joerogan.net)</managingEditor>
	        <image>
			<url>http://static.libsyn.com/p/assets/7/1/f/3/71f3014e14ef2722/JREiTunesImage2.jpg</url>
			<title>The Joe Rogan Experience</title>
			<link><![CDATA[https://www.joerogan.com]]></link>
		</image>

Inside the <image> tag above you’ll see a url. If you follow that URL you’ll find the cover art for the JRE podcast: http://static.libsyn.com/p/assets/7/1/f/3/71f3014e14ef2722/JREiTunesImage2.jpg

So now we have a podcast title and podcast cover art. As you can see, the details for the podcast we’ve seen so far are clear and available from the open web even directly in your web browser by clicking the links above.

JRE RSS Feed

Now let’s take one more step further into the RSS and find the podcast episodes that are published. Here’s where we see the mind blowing loss that’s about to happen.

If you scroll through the JRE RSS Feed you’ll see that every podcast Joe Rogan has ever done since the first episode in 2009 is available.

Next, if you look inside any of the 1476 <item> tags that represent every episode of the JRE Podcast you’ll find a direct link to the audio for that podcast episode.

<enclosure length="117360013" type="audio/mpeg" url="http://traffic.libsyn.com/joeroganexp/joecast1.mp3?dest-id=19997" />

In fact, I can embed the audio for Joe Rogan’s first podcast ever right here into this blog post using that link above, check it out.

The raw audio from Joe Rogan’s weekly live USTREAM video show with Brian Redban.

Pretty cool!

That’s basically all any podcast app does and one of the best things I haven’t even mentioned yet is that the RSS Feed we’re getting all of this great info from doesn’t even need to be indexed or hosted anywhere official. For example, our HyperCatcher Podcast app doesn’t care where your RSS Feed is hosted. If it’s hosted on iTunes or in Google’s podcast index it’s easier to find, but you can import any Podcast RSS Feed from anywhere and HyperCatcher can play that podcast.

What it means to remove the JRE Podcast RSS Feed

Unfortunately, starting at the end of the year, the JRE Podcast will no longer support this open and free podcasting standard. The JRE Podcast will still be free, but it will be locked behind the walls of the Spotify App and playing this audio in this blog or anywhere else will be impossible without Spotify’s permission.

Ultimately this is a loss for Joe Rogan’s listeners because they no longer have the freedom to listen to the JRE Podcast in their favorite podcast app. Instead, they will be forced to use Spotify to listen to JRE and a different app to listen to podcasts that don’t opt in to the Spotify platform.

It also means that podcast apps like HyperCatcher can’t enhance the JRE Podcast. For example when you listen to the JRE Podcast on HyperCatcher you can get a premium experience Spotify doesn’t provide for any podcast.

Show notes for JRE Podcasts are notoriously sparse. While most podcasts add detailed show notes with links to books, images and videos discussed during the podcast, the JRE podcast includes none of these. HyperCatcher not only adds show notes for JRE Podcast episodes, but shows them to listeners at just the right time as its being discussed on the podcast so you never miss out on the discussion even if you’re on the go.

HyperCatcher will continue to support JRE Podcast episode enhancement for premium users until Joe removes his podcast from the open internet. However, we’ll be experimenting with enhancing new podcasts soon, so download our free app from the app store and follow us for more info soon!

1 Comment
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    Your podcast app looks great! Thanks for fighting for the open standard. 🙂

    I wrote my thoughts about this event today: https://dougie.io/decentralization/podcast-exclusivity/

    I raised a concern that what if Spotify creates enough of these deals to where Spotify has the majority share of podcast listeners.

    Majority of a user base on one app + a hands-off ad system that pays creators could create a similar situation to what we have on YouTube.

    When someone posts a YouTube video, they do not think “how can I syndicate this to all of the different video platforms”. They say “I’m posting this here because the users and ad money are here”.

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