Spotify has a new top podcast in the U.S., with the narrative Spotify Original Batman Unburied finally dethroning The Joe Rogan Experience. It makes sense — most people would probably rather listen to Batman than Joe Rogan.
According to The Podcast Charts by Spotify, Batman Unburied is now the No. 1 podcast in the U.S., bumping The Joe Rogan Experience to second place. The Joe Rogan Experience was Spotify’s No. 1 podcast of 2021, after a $200 million deal in 2020 made it exclusive to the platform. The highly controversial podcast and its titular host have repeatedly come under fire for platforming COVID-19 misinformation and using the N-word, with respected artists such as Joni Mitchell and Neil Young criticising Spotify for hosting Rogan.
It isn’t unlikely that Rogan’s podcast will eventually retake the top position when Batman Unburied is no longer the shiny new podcast on the block. Still, for now the public has apparently decided it prefers caped crusades to COVID misinformation.
Launched with two episodes on May 3, Batman Unburied is a fiction podcast telling the story of Bruce Wayne, a forensic pathologist working on the victims of a serial killer known as The Harvester. As you can probably guess, Batman Unburied’s Gotham isn’t quite the same city we’re all familiar with, and Bruce’s occupation isn’t the only change. Significantly, Batman’s famously dead parents aren’t quite as dead in this series, with Thomas and Martha Wayne showing up to urge their son to go to therapy.
Bruce’s alter ego Batman will make an appearance though, so how much his therapist actually helps remains to be seen.
Written and executive produced by David S. Goyer, Batman Unburied stars Winston Duke as Bruce Wayne — most popularly known for his role as M’Baku in Marvel’s Black Panther, and Gabe in Jordan Peele’s Us. The podcast also features a bunch of other big names, including Jason Isaacs as Alfred, Hasan Minhaj as The Riddler, Gina Rodriguez as Barbara Gordon, John Rhys-Davies as Dr. Hunter, and Ashly Burch as Vicki Vale. Lance Reddick and Toks Olagundoye play Thomas and Martha Wayne respectively.
Batman Unburied is the first podcast to come out of a 2020 licensing deal between Warner Bros. and Spotify, which will see the creation of podcasts featuring iconic DC Comics characters. Other Warner Bros. characters and franchises are also on the table.