Spotify Agrees to Remove Neil Young’s Catalog After Dispute Over Joe Rogan

Spotify has announced that they will comply with the request made by singer/song-writer Neil Young to remove all of his music from the platform. This comes after Young demanded that the streaming giant choose between him and Joe Rogan, saying “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”

The reason for this request and dispute is because of Young’s opinion on Joe Rogan and the content contained in the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Young addresses Rogan’s promotion of things like the use of Ivermectin to treat Covid-19, or the idea that the MRNA vaccines used to fight Covid-19 are forms of gene therapy, as major problems that he cannot tolerate.

This led to a public letter being published on Young’s website Monday, asking for his music to be removed from the Spotify platform as a whole. This letter has since been deleted. Within the letter, Young points out that Joe Rogan Experience has the most listeners out of any podcast in the world and is a major danger to anyone that listens to or follows the advice given. Young also stated that with the spread of misinformation on Spotify’s platform, it is clear to see that the company has no policy surrounding misinformation.

Soon after, Spotify announced their agreement to remove all of Young’s content from the platform. In a statement, they addressed both their efforts to prevent misinformation, as well as their hopes for Young’s return to the platform sometime in the future.

“We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 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.”

Young then posted a follow-up letter on Wednesday, going into more detail about the current situation. In the letter he stated, “I realized I could not continue to support SPOTIFY’s life threatening misinformation to the music loving public.”

He also thanked his record label, Warner Brothers — Reprise Records, for their support and backing over his decision, noting that it is a huge loss to both him and the company.

“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.”

Young is not the only one who has come forward with problems concerning Rogan’s podcast and Spotify’s policies. Earlier this month, a group of 270 medical professionals and scientists published an open letter to Spotify with concerns about the content Rogan was promoting. Within the letter, they state that Spotify has an obligation to monitor the content being released on their platform, and to prohibit any content that may be dangerous to its listeners. The letter did not ask Spotify to remove Joe Rogan Experience, nor did they ask for any specific episodes to be removed. The only request made was for the streaming giant to implement a policy that would stop the spread of misinformation.

Spotify, who has exclusive ownership over Rogan’s podcast, has not responded to the letter, and nothing has seemingly changed since its publishing. Spotify’s deal with Rogan began in 2020, when a contract worth approximately $100 million was signed. With this decision to remove Young’s content, the company has shown their willingness to stand by Rogan.

As of right now, all of Young’s music can still be found on Spotify, and there is no clear timeframe for when the content will be taken down. In his letter from Wednesday, Young promises his fans that all of this content will remain on platforms such as Apple, Amazon, along with others.

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Every week hosts of BBP News Podcast Chris Baker and Nick Rodd write about all current events from politics, technology, business and sports news.