Spotify is in the process of removing Neil Young’s music from its library.
The decision comes after the musician wrote an open letter to his manager and label asking them to remove his music from Spotify if the service continues to carry the Joe Rogan podcast.
“They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” the “Harvest Moon” singer said.
The 76-year-old wrote that he doesn’t appreciate Spotify’s affiliation with Rogan.
Young said of the Rogan podcast: The Joe Rogan Experience – is spreading “false information” about Covid-19 vaccines, adding that “it is potentially causing the death of those who believe that misinformation is being spread by them”.
A Spotify spokesperson has confirmed to the hollywood reporter that the service will not rip Rogan’s content and will therefore honor Young’s request to remove his music.
“We want all the music and audio content in the world to be available to Spotify users. That comes with a huge responsibility in balancing the safety of listeners and the freedom of creators,” they said.
“We have detailed content policies and have removed over 20,000 Covid-related podcast episodes since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but look forward to welcoming him back soon.”
In a now-deleted letter posted on Young’s website on Monday (Jan 24), the singer addressed his management team at LookoutManagement and Warner Bros.
“Please immediately inform Spotify that I am actively canceling all of my music availability on Spotify as soon as possible,” Young wrote.
He continued: “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading false information about vaccines, which could cause death to those who believe the misinformation is being spread by them.
“Please act on this immediately today and keep me updated on the timeline. I want you to let Spotify know immediately today that I want to get all of my music off their platform.”
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Earlier this year, a group of scientists and medical professionals asked Spotify to address Covid misinformation following a controversial Joe Rogan episode on vaccines.
Rogan, who also works as a commentator for the UFC, interviewed Dr. Robert Malone, who claimed that Americans were “hypnotized” into wearing masks and getting vaccinated.
In an April 2021 episode of his podcast, Rogan discouraged young people from getting vaccinated, saying, “If you’re like 21 years old and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I will go, no.
He addressed the backlash to his comments, saying he’s “not an anti-vaccine person.”
“I think they’re safe and I encourage a lot of people to take them,” Rogan said, though he refused to retract claims that young people don’t “need” the vaccine.
The 54-year-old man stressed that “he is not a doctor.” He said, “I am not a respected source of information, even to myself.”
In 2020, Spotify signed a licensing deal with Rogan worth $100 million (£74.3 million). His entire library, dating back to 2009, became exclusive to the streaming service.
The licensing agreement is one of the largest deals in the podcast business.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.