Spotify, Unsurprisingly, Will Remove Neil Young’s Music Instead of Dropping Joe Rogan

Jon Brodkin, writing for Ars Technica:

With Neil Young having told Spotify that it can keep him or podcaster Joe Rogan but not both, the streaming company today said it will remove Young’s catalog of music.

“We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users,” Spotify said in a statement to Deadline and other media organizations. “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.”

Neil Young:

Spotify represents 60% of the streaming of my music to listeners around the world, almost every record I have ever released is available — my life’s music — a huge loss for my record company to absorb. Yet my friends at Warner Brothers Reprise stood with me, recognizing the threat the COVID misinformation on Spotify posed to the world — particularly for our young people who think everything they hear on Spotify is true. Unfortunately it is not.

Thank you Warner Brothers for standing with me and taking the hit — losing 60% of my world wide streaming income in the name of Truth. [...]

I sincerely hope that other artists and record companies will move off the Spotify platform and stop supporting Spotify’s deadly misinformation about COVID.

This is all good. Of course Spotify chose Joe Rogan over Neil Young. Everyone knew they would, including Young. Young didn’t do this to try to get Spotify to drop Joe Rogan; he did this to raise awareness that Spotify supports Rogan and Rogan pushes a lot of nonsense about COVID. Young put his money where his mouth was and was rewarded with publicity for a message he clearly feels strongly about.

Thursday, 27 January 2022