February 17, 2022

Spotify to remove Neil Young music after singer objects to COVID-19 misinformation on Joe Rogan podcast | CBC News

Neil Young’s music is being removed from Spotify’s streaming service after the singer-songwriter objected to his songs playing on the same platform that offers Joe Rogan’s podcast, the company and the musician said on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Young had released a letter addressed to his manager and record label, Warner Music Group, demanding that Spotify no longer carry his music because he said Rogan spreads misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.

On Wednesday, the Canadian-born singer, known for iconic anthems such as Heart of Gold and Rockin’ In the Free World, thanked his record label for “standing with me in my decision to pull all my music from Spotify,” and he encouraged other musicians to do the same.

“Spotify has become the home of life-threatening COVID misinformation,” he said on his website. “Lies being sold for money.”

WATCH | Neil Young gives Spotify an ultimatum — my music or Joe Rogan: 

Neil Young gives Spotify an ultimatum: my music or Joe Rogan

Outspoken singer-songwriter Neil Young has given Spotify an ultimatum between streaming his music or continuing to distribute the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, known for featuring COVID-19 contrarians with confusing and dangerous views. 2:03 

The Swedish company said it works to balance “both safety for listeners and freedom for creators” and that it has removed more than 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

“We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify but hope to welcome him back soon,” Spotify said in a statement.

Rogan, 54, is the host of The Joe Rogan Experience, the top-rated podcast on Spotify, which holds exclusive rights to the program.

He has stirred controversy with his views on the pandemic, government mandates and vaccines to control the spread of COVID-19.

Earlier this month, 270 scientists and medical professionals signed a letter urging Spotify to take action against Rogan, accusing him of spreading falsehoods on the podcast.

Young, 76, said Spotify accounted for 60 per cent of the streaming of his music to listeners around the world. The removal is “a huge loss for my record company to absorb,” he said. 

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