There’s a reason Spotify shelled out millions to bring Joe Rogan’s podcast exclusively to its platform. The Joe Rogan Experience was the most popular podcast on Spotify in 2020, the audio streamer revealed as part of its year-end Wrapped campaign.
Spotify has been investing aggressively into podcasts in recent years, buying up audio-first studios and striking exclusive deals with top podcasters. In May, the company made its biggest bet yet on a podcasting personality when it inked a reported $100 million deal with Rogan to bring his show to its listeners.
The often controversial Joe Rogan Experience hit Spotify on Sept. 1 and becomes exclusive to the platform in December. After making its debut on Spotify, it quickly rocketed to the top of the service’s podcast rankings and, in just three months, has become the most popular audio show of 2020 among its global listenership.
The other most popular podcasts from this year included TED Talks Daily, The Daily, The Michelle Obama Podcast and Call Her Daddy. Of those shows, only The Michelle Obama Podcast is a Spotify original. It debuted exclusively on Spotify in July before rolling out onto other platforms in September.
In the U.S., the top podcast was NPR News Now followed by The Joe Rogan Experience, The Daily, Call Her Daddy and The Michelle Obama Podcast.
As part of its annual Wrapped year-in-review programming, Spotify also revealed the top musicians, songs and albums on its global platform in 2020. With 8.3 billion streams this year, Bad Bunny took the crown for most streamed artist followed by Drake, J Balvin, Juice WRLD and The Weeknd. For the second year in a row, Billie Eilish was the top female artist on Spotify. Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Dua Lipa and Halsey rounded out the top five.
The most streamed song of 2020 was The Weeknd’s TikTok sensation “Blinding Lights,” which had nearly 1.6 billion streams, and the most streamed album was Bad Bunny’s YHLQMDLG, which was streamed 3.3 billion times.
In the U.S., Juice WRLD was the most streamed artist and Swift was the most streamed female artist, coming in at No. 5 on the overall U.S. artists list. The most streamed song was Roddy Ricch’s “The Box” and the most streamed album was Juice WRLD’s Legends Never Die.