Neil Young has responded to a threat to withdraw his music from popular streaming service Spotify because it features Joe Rogan, a controversial podcast host. Young is upset with the show’s episodes focused on the COVID-19 epidemic, in particular.
On Jan. 24th, Young posted and then removed an open letter in which he accused Spotify of promoting vaccine misinformation by hosting the talk show host. The letter closed with Young stating:
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Young then posted another letter titled “Spotify. In The Name Of Truth.” In this letter, Young explains his position. Young says that Spotify is a “damaging force via its public misinformation and lies about COVID.”
In his letter, Young alludes to a second open letter published to Spotify by 270 doctors, physicians, and science educators who asked the company to remove Joe Rogan’s podcast, which they described as a “menace to public health.”
The letter went on to say:
“Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
Because he was afflicted with polio as a child, Joe Young has a strong dedication to vaccines.
It appears that Spotify has become too divisive a platform for Young to continue supporting. He claims that he could not keep on supporting the service in light of this, so he has chosen to remove his music from it. With 60% of his streaming income coming from Spotify, Young states that it is impossible for him to continue using the site.
Young concludes the letter saying:
“I sincerely hope that other artists and record companies will move off the Spotify platform and stop supporting Spotify’s deadly misinformation about COVID.”
Spotify told The Hollywood Reporter that they were removing Neil Young’s music from the platform. The spokesperson said:
“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. We have detailed content policies in place, and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
Joe Rogan’s podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, has been involved in prior controversies. In 2020, Spotify licensed the show and became its sole distributor, signing a $100 million, multi-year agreement as part of the deal.
What do you think about Young and Spotify’s positions and subsequent actions in removing the music? They stood with Rogan. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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