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Podcaster Joe Budden says he plans to leave Spotify

Joe Budden in 2017 in New York City.
Joe Budden in April 2017 in New York City.
(Johnny Nunez / WireImage)

Two years ago, Spotify signed a high-profile deal with Joe Budden, whose popular podcast delves into hip-hop music, news and cultural events.

Now, however, Budden is vowing to end his exclusive deal with the Swedish streaming giant, saying his show is undervalued.

“Sept. 23, I cannot tell you where this podcast will be, but as it stands I can tell you where it will not be, and that is Spotify,” Budden said on “The Joe Budden Podcast With Rory and Mal” on Wednesday.

Spotify said in a statement that it had wanted to keep Budden and made him a “considerable offer” that was “significantly larger” than his current agreement but “could not come to terms, and we respect his wishes to find a new home for his show.”

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The company declined to disclose the amount of the offer.

Budden’s departure would be a blow to Spotify, which has invested heavily in the podcasting space and signed deals with several high-profile figures, including former First Lady Michelle Obama and Joe Rogan.

When Budden was first approached by Spotify two years ago about bringing his podcast exclusively to the streaming platform, the industry was much smaller.

Since then, Spotify’s footprint in podcasting has grown rapidly. The company acquired podcast production companies including Gimlet Media, Parcast and the Ringer.

Budden said his podcast helped bring audiences to Spotify, so much so that in his first exclusive episode on the platform the site couldn’t handle the traffic.

He believes he was underpaid in his original deal.

Spotify has worked on nearly two dozen original or exclusive podcasts with social media influencers over the past year, as it aims to grow its reach in podcasting.

“Spotify never cared about this podcast individually,” Budden said. “Spotify only cared about our contribution to the platform.”

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Budden’s podcast was ranked 16th on Spotify’s top podcasts list in the U.S. on Wednesday night. Budden co-hosts the podcast with Rory Farrell and Jamil “Mal” Clay.


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