Neil Young’s music is being removed from the Spotify streaming service after the singer and songwriter objected to his songs being played on the same platform that offers a podcast by Joe Rogan, the company and music said on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Young published a letter to his manager and record label Warner Music Group, demanding that Spotify no longer carry his music because, he said, Rogan was spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine.
Neil Young threatens to take music from Spotify through “misinformation” against Joe Rogan’s vaccine
On Wednesday, the singer of “Heart of Gold” and “Rocking In the Free World” thanked his label for “supporting me in my decision to take all my music from Spotify”, and he urged other musicians to do the same.
“Spotify has become home to life-threatening COVID misinformation,” he said on his website. “Lies are sold for money.”
The Swedish company said it was working to balance “both security for listeners and freedom for creators” and removed more than 20,000 episodes of podcasts related to COVID-19, in line with its “detailed content policy”.
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“We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but look forward to welcoming him soon,” Spotify said in a statement.
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The 54-year-old Rogan is the host of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” the highest-rated podcast on Spotify, which owns the exclusive rights to the program.
He has sparked controversy with his views on pandemics, government mandates and vaccines to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Earlier this month, 270 scientists and health professionals signed a letter urging Spotify to take action against Rogan, accusing him of spreading lies in a podcast.
The 76-year-old Young said Spotify accounted for 60% of his music broadcasts to listeners worldwide. The removal is “a huge loss for my record company,” he said.
(Report by Lisa Richwein and Don Khmelevsky in Los Angeles and Eugene Malik in Bangalore; Editor Deviki Siamnat and Alistair Bell)