Joe Rogan, stand-up comic and color commentator for the Ultimate Fighting Championship, reached an impressive milestone last month when his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, topped 11 million monthly downloads, making his one of the highest downloaded podcasts on the internet and top five in comedy alongside Marc Maron's WTF, Scott Aukerman's Comedy Bang! Bang!, The Adam Carolla Podcast, and Chris Hardwick's Nerdist.
Rogan, previously best known as the host of the groundbreaking gross-out challenge show Fear Factor and NBC's Newsradio, enjoys the freedom podcasting offers in contrast to terrestrial or even satellite radio, reports Doug Elfman of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
"There's no one telling me what to do to spice it up. There's no one that has any expectations other than the listeners. I pursue it knowing there's a lot of people listening. I don't want anyone to feel like, 'Ugh, I can't get that hour of my life back.'"
Rogan has managed to differentiate his podcast from the myriad of others in several key ways. While most podcasts limit themselves to an hour, perhaps two, in order to avoid listener fatigue, Rogan imposes no such limits and talks with his guests. It is not uncommon for his show to exceed three hours.
Additionally, Rogan provides a live simulcast on YouTube, allowing live listeners to interact with the show through email, social media, and through YouTube's comment and chat sections. To top is all off, Rogan doesn't produce his podcast a couple of times a month or even once a week. Rogan releases a new episode several times a week, interviewing friends and colleagues from the comedy and fight worlds as well as anyone else Rogan finds interesting and compelling.
Aside from the obvious advertising potential, Rogan's massive listenership also benefits him at the box office. Since launching his podcast, Rogan has seen a dramatic uptick in ticket sales, leading Rogan often times to sell out theaters. As such, Rogan is quick to point out that he does not consider podcasting his primary job.
"I do it more than anything else — more than the UFC, actually. I do it three or four days a week. But I'm enjoying it."
Rogan's podcast has often ignited controversy. Rogan has used the platform to call out perceived joke thief Carlos Mencia on more than one occasion, and most recently put friend and UFC fighter Brendan Schaub in the hot seat, imploring him not to fight again due to Rogan's concern for concussion syndrome and Schaub's diminishing ability to avoid strikes to the head. Rogan told Schaub flat out that he didn't feel Schaub could contend with world class fighters anymore. Schaub disagreed, and later said he remained mostly quiet while trying not to cry.
The Joe Rogan Experience is available on iTunes.