Spotify sides with Joe Rogan after Neil Young ultimatum
Spotify is removing Neil Young’s music after the musician gave the streaming service an ultimatum, saying it could not provide a platform to both him and Joe Rogan due to the podcast host’s “fake information” on COVID-19 vaccines.
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both,” Young wrote in a letter earlier this week to his record label and management team.
“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” the 76-year-old “Rockin’ in the Free World” singer said of comments made by the controversial podcast host on his show streamed by Spotify, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”
“We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators,” a Spotify spokesperson told ITK in a Wednesday statement.
“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,” the statement said. “We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
Rogan has taken heat in recent months for remarks he’s made about COVID-19 and vaccines.
Earlier this month, an open letter signed by 270 health care professionals urged Spotify to take action against COVID-19 vaccine misinformation that it said was spread on Rogan’s show, which boasts a wide reach, with an estimated 11 million listeners per episode.
Rogan — who said in September that he tested positive for COVID-19 — last year canceled a sold-out show in Vancouver scheduled for April because he would be unable to enter Canada without vaccination proof.
“I’m not vaccinated. I’m not gonna get vaccinated. I have antibodies, it doesn’t make any sense,” Rogan, 54, said in an Instagram post at the time.
—Updated at 5:03 p.m.
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