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Rap? Forget Hip-Hop. You’ll Never Guess How Much Joe Budden Makes Podcasting

Joe Budden, the hip-hop artist turned podcaster, has opened up about his lucrative journey in the podcasting world, revealing impressive earnings that may surprise many.

During a recent episode of the “Joe Budden Podcast,” the New Jersey native disclosed that he grossed upwards of $7 million gross over the course of his podcasting career started in 2015, with an estimated $4 million in net earnings.

Photo via Instagram @joebudden

“Off podcasting, off of this?” Budden, 43, answered about his earnings. “All together in the whole 10 years? About $4 million…Gross is $7 million.”

Getting the Podcast Bag

Budden provided context to these figures, attributing much of the revenue to the podcast’s deals with major platforms like Spotify and other digital outlets. He reflected on the podcast’s beginnings when they started out without financial compensation, highlighting their breakthrough moment when they struck a deal with Spotify in 2018. Despite facing challenges, including the departure of team members, Budden emphasized the financial success he achieved through his podcasting efforts.

Despite his now saying his deal with Spotify was a game-changer as far as his bottom line, in 2020, he parted ways with the platform over his dissatisfaction with Spotify’s treatment of his podcast and audience. In a podcast episode announcing the move, Budden criticized Spotify for its handling of their partnership, highlighting issues like audience expectations and lack of recognition for their success. He expressed frustration over Spotify’s failure to provide bonuses despite exceeding audience reach projections by a significant margin, saying, “That was the first time it dawned on me that Spotify is pillaging.”

Budden also cited specific instances of discontent, such as Spotify’s refusal to allow his team vacation days during Christmas and New Year’s Eve without missing podcast episodes. Additionally, he recounted how the company offered Rolexes instead of bonuses but later deemed their chosen watches too expensive. He went on the launch The Joe Budden Network, where the podcast can be heard today. It is also available on YouTube.

In the recent podcast episode where he explains how much the podcast earns, he does not go into how much he’s earned since leaving Spotify and how — and if — his business model has changed.

“Early on we were doing it for free,” Budden said.“Then we hit a little lick, Spotify. Then n***as left, the building crumbled a little bit, and my friends came and saved the day. Probably about [$3.5 million-$4.5 million.]”

When “Joe Budden Podcast” co-hosts hinted Budden was not being transparent about his earnings due to the perceptively low figure, he stressed he was being truthful. “I’m serious,” he said. “Why do y’all think I’m lying?”

Co-hosts for the podcast have included Richard Parks Vallely, Antwan “Ish” Marby, Lamar “Ice” Burney, Melyssa Ford, and Trevor “Queenzflip” Robinson.

Dubbed “The Podfather,” Joe Budden has become a significant figure in hip-hop media.

Podcasters’ earnings vary widely based on download numbers and revenue sources, ranging from $700 monthly to several million dollars. For example, a podcaster receiving 10,000 streams per episode might earn between $500 and $900 monthly on average, according to Fourthwall.

Podcasters can indeed be big moneymakers, as advertisers seem to love the media format. According to Forbes, advertisers most likely spent nearly $700 million on podcasts in 2019, citing estimates by the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In 2020, the top-five podcasters earned a cumulative $70 million, Forbes reported. The Joe Rogan Experience” is the highest-earning podcast, making $30 million in 2019, reports FinanceBuzz.

Budden urged aspiring media creators to prioritize consistency and quality, citing his own journey as inspiration. “Listen, years of hard work, y’all could do it, too,” Budden said.“It’s not unachievable. Like, this is not unimaginable if you work hard. Keep your head down to the finish line, man, and just focus on the content and what you need to do … $4.5 million.”

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