Spotify will remove Neil Young’s music from its platform, per his request, following his objections to Joe Rogan’s statements about the Covid-19 vaccine on his Spotify-hosted show. The music is expected to be removed later Wednesday.
A rep for Spotify said in a statement to Variety: “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. 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.”
Young posted a lengthy statement on his website, which levels his accusations at Spotify and does not mention Rogan (and makes some unusual assertions about the platform’s audience), shortly after the move was confirmed.
“Spotify has recently become a very damaging force via its public misinformation and lies about COVID,” he wrote. “I first learned of this problem by reading that 200-plus doctors had joined forces, taking on the dangerous life-threatening COVID falsehoods found in Spotify programming. Most of the listeners hearing the factual, misleading and false COVID information on Spotify are 24 years old, impressionable and easy to swing to the wrong side of the truth.
“These young people believe Spotify would never present grossly unfactual information. They unfortunately are wrong. I Knew I had to try to point that out.”
He notes later in the post that he actually does not have the ability to make such a move himself, as control over music uploaded to streaming services is determined by the rights-holder, which in his case is Warner Records, formerly known as Warner Bros. Records.
“Before I told my friends at Warner Bros [sic] about my desire to leave the Spotify platform, I was reminded by my own legal forces that contractually I did not have the control of my music to do that. I announced I was leaving anyway,” he continues. “I want to thank my truly great and supporting record company Warner Brothers [sic] – Reprise Records, for standing with me in my decision to pull all my music from Spotify. Thank you!”
Young continues in this manner before concluding, “I sincerely hope that other artists and record companies will move off the Spotify platform and stop supporting Spotify’s deadly misinformation about COVID.
(Excerpt) Read more in: Variety