Two days after vowing that Spotify would have to choose between him and podcaster Joe Rogan, Neil Young has yanked his music from the platform. On Monday, in an open letter posted then removed from his Neil Young Archives website, the veteran rocker expressed his dismay at the outspoken podcaster spreading “disinformation” about COVID-19. In the now-deleted letter, he wrote, “Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Now, as the Wall Street Journal reports, the streaming giant is in the process of removing Young’s music from its platform.
“We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users,” a rep for Spotify told SPIN. “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.”
SPIN has reached out to Young’s representative for comment.
Young explained his decision in another post on his website.
“All of my music is available on SPOTIFY, being sold to these young people, people who believe what they are hearing because it is on SPOTIFY, and people like me are supporting SPOTIFY by presenting my music there,” Young wrote.
Saying that the platform represents 60% of his streaming income, Young thanked his label for standing by him and explained his reasons for making the decision. He said that he was told that he didn’t contractually have control to remove his music, but Warner Music supported his decision.
“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.”
Signing off, the rocker wrote “I sincerely hope that other artists and record companies will move off the SPOTIFY platform and stop supporting SPOTIFY’s deadly misinformation about COVID.”