Hip-hop artist and podcast host Joe Budden has decided to split with Spotify after the streaming giant “undermined and undervalued” his exclusive podcast, he said.
How Budden made his move bothers Charlamagne Tha God of “The Breakfast Club.” Tha God called Budden out, claiming the host of “The Joe Budden Podcast” just doesn’t know how to negotiate.
During a recent episode, Budden spent most of his three-hour show breaking down the terms of his exclusive deal with Spotify, explaining why he wouldn’t be renewing his contract when it expires in September, HipHopDX reported.
“September 23rd, I cannot tell you where this podcast will be,” Budden said. “But as it stands, I can tell you where it will not be, and that is Spotify. Spotify never cared about this podcast individually. Spotify only cared about our contribution to the platform.”
Why does Budden feel Spotify undervalued his show? He compared his deal to the deal the company made with sports media entrepreneur Bill Simmons for “The Ringer” podcast, which is worth $250 million. With “The Ringer” — a sports and pop culture podcast — Spotify is “actively pitting (these signings) against us,” according to Budden.
Budden said Spotify is “pillaging” his audience. “You pillage the audience from the podcast, and you’ve continued to pillage each step of the way without any regard” for the listeners, he said.
Budden initially signed the contract with Spotify back in 2018, and at that time, Budden said their vision for podcasting was aligned.
“However, their visions quickly became unaligned when he realized Spotify cared more about the money than him or his podcast,” The Source reported.
In a statement to Variety, a Spotify spokesperson said the company attempted to renegotiate with Budden but failed.
“It was our desire to keep Joe Budden on Spotify,” the spokesperson said. “As Joe referenced on his show, we made him a considerable offer — one that was significantly larger and many times the value of the existing agreement and reflective of the current market and size of his audience. Unfortunately, we could not come to terms and we respect his wishes to find a new home for his show.”
“Fuck y’all and that deal,” Budden responded.
Charlamagne Tha God blamed Budden for not being able to get a great deal from Spotify.
“It sounds to me like Joe Budden is a person who knows his worth but doesn’t know how to properly negotiate it, ’cause if you keep doing deals with various corporations and you keep getting trash-ass deals, that’s on you,” Charlamagne said.
DJ Envy got in the mix and insisted Budden should be paid handsomely for the popular podcast. Charlamange agreed but said Budden’s one show doesn’t have the same worth as an entire network.
“I’m not saying he shouldn’t be getting a lot of money,” Charlamagne said. “What I’m simply saying is you can have the No. 1 show on Spotify, but one of those networks might have six shows in the Top 10, 10 shows in the Top 20. You have one hit show.”
Charlamagne reminded his listeners that Budden also left Complex Media after working as a co-host on “Everyday Struggle” and the exit was not on good terms, HipHopDX reported.
“If you keep having the same issues at various companies, because it was the same issue at Complex, it’s probably not them,” Charlamagne said. “It’s probably you, Joe. So, lesson to all the kids out there: you may know your worth, but you have to know how to properly negotiate it.”
Of course, Budden didn’t take this comment lightly. He clapped back to Charlamagne, saying, “We are not the same.”
Budden reminded Charlamagne that Tha God is an iHeartRadio employee and does not own “The Breakfast Club”, The Source reported. Budden, by comparison, is the owner of his podcast.
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“I know that you have this healthy obsession with me. I know that you think that we are in a competition. You might also think that we are fighting the same fight,” Budden said on air during a recent podcast. “You would be mistaken with all three of those.
“Charlamagne, you not gonna get it because I own this. My most valuable, my most powerful, my most accomplished asset — I own it. Ownership. You see all these Black people running around preaching ownership, ownership, ownership? There’s a reason for it,” he continued.
Budden added, “I can not have someone with a voice as powerful as you just be misinformed on shit. 10 years, he y’all number one, how are you paid? I’m listening to your fuckin’ ads. We not havin’ the same fight behind the scenes. It looks the same but it’s not the same.”