Spotify picks Joe Rogan over Neil Young
This week, Neil Young published an open letter demanding Spotify remove his music because he didn’t want to share the platform with podcaster Joe Rogan. It appears Young is getting his wish, as Spotify is now removing his music, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” he said in the now-deleted letter, reports Rolling Stone. “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Young didn’t mince words in the letter, which he addressed to his manager and his record label, Warner Records. “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” he wrote. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
“We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators,” a Spotify spokesman said in a statement to the WSJ. “We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
Spotify and Warner Records didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment from The Verge. In a post on his website, Young thanked his label for its support and said that Spotify has “become the home of life threatening COVID misinformation.”
Spotify made a blockbuster deal with Rogan in 2020 to make his hugely popular podcast exclusive to the platform. Since then, he has come under heavy scrutiny for statements he’s made about COVID-19, such as suggesting that healthy young people don’t need the vaccine. And Young isn’t the only person to criticize Spotify’s alignment with Rogan; a coalition of scientists and medical professionals recently published an open letter of their own that calls on Spotify to “take action against the mass-misinformation events which continue to occur on its platform.”