a radio or podcast interview

Does Joe Rogan Pay His Guests?

“We just started this. It’s not very good, I apologize,” Joe Rogan says, sitting in front of a camera lens in 2013 as his audience watches animated snowflakes fall across the screen. “’Snowflakes falling are a bit annoying.’ Oh, come on, it’s Christmas!”

World-renowned Joe Rogan – comedian, MMA commentator, and host of Fear Factor – added even more diversity to his career with the release of his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE). By 2017, the star’s show was acclaimed iTunes second most-downloaded podcast. While Joe’s fans encouraged the podcast’s continuance, The Joe Rogan Experience wouldn’t have come so far without the conversations between him and his guests.

The Joe Rogan Experience

Joe initially brought his laid-back talk-show to life over 10 years ago. The first episode aired live on December 24, 2009, via Ustream and soon, the show became a weekly broadcast. Not long after its establishment, Joe invited friends to join him on the show; they’d smoke, drink, and have friendly conversations for a few hours at a time.

According to the celeb, he originally started the podcast merely to have a good time. Joe explained in a 2011 interview with Thom Carnell the following.

it’s totally organic. It just sort of happened. I didn’t sit down and say, ‘Hey, what I’m going to do is that I’m going to create my own radio show. Since nobody wants to give me a radio show, I’m going to make my own.’ No. It just … happened.

Little did he know, the show would soon become a booming success.

By popular demand, Joe brought his show to YouTube in January of 2013, where he began uploading the live videos of past and future podcast sessions. PowerfulJRE currently has over 9 million subscribers and 2 billion views. Spotify added the show to its platform, and according to a secured deal worth more than $100 million, The Joe Rogan Experience will become exclusive to Spotify by the end of 2020.

By 2015, The Joe Rogan Experience was made one of the world’s most popular podcasts. As of August 12, 2020, Joe has had over 700 guests appear on his show. Guests like Elon Musk, Post Malone, and even Ben Shapiro have brought loads of additional attention from viewers, leaving fans with a burning question: does Joe Rogan pay his guests?

Does Joe Pay His Podcast Guests?

Joe Rogan has featured hundreds of stars on his podcast, each one accumulating views and adding cash to his pocket. His most-viewed guest thus far has been Bill Burr, earning the show over 2 million views in its first year alone. As of 2019, The Joe Rogan Experience brings in $30 million annually. Earning that amount – a lot of times due to famous guest appearances – one might assume Joe pays his visitors for the money they brought the show.

However, it is uncommon for a podcaster to pay his or her visitors for their appearance. According to various podcast hosts, when being featured on an episode, “guests don’t ask or expect to be paid.” If a guest appears on a podcast as distinguished as Joe Rogan’s, they typically take advantage of the experience and use it as an opportunity to promote themselves.

Whether it be recent work, a website, or their own show, guests of talk shows generally have something to showcase. Although Joe many times hosts major celebrities, he has also featured his comedian friends and others who may not be extraordinarily famous. In any case, Joe maintains a podcast that provides guests with a generous opportunity to represent themselves to an audience of millions.


The Joe Rogan Experience brings in millions of dollars every year, but does not directly pay guests for their appearances. Without the hundreds of guests that have helped light a fire under his audience’s growth, Joe’s show may not have come as far as it is today. That being said, with the amount of fame that Joe Rogan’s podcast has gained over its course, should he be paying his guests? The exposure that each person receives by being featured on Joe’s show is seemingly payment enough.

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  • Ashtin is an American freelance writer and aspiring editor. She is a recent graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English, and is currently studying editing at the University of Chicago. Alongside her freelance work, Ashtin pursues the hobby of creative writing. She has a regular yoga practice, a deep love for mystery novels, and a fascination for all things true crime.

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