We reported Tuesday on how folk-rock icon Neil Young fired off an angrygram, originally posted to his website, in which he demanded that his manager and record label tell Spotify to immediately begin removing his music off their platform because he found popular podcaster Joe Rogan airing varying opinions about the coronavirus vaccine to be too triggering.
“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,” he wrote. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” he continued. “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.”
“With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform,” Young also said in the letter.
Young, who back in the day was famous for using his music to urge people to rebel against “the man” and “the system” but who apparently has had a change of heart, found out from Spotify Wednesday that they’re pulling his music:
Neil Young’s music is in the process of being removed from Spotify Technology SA’s streaming service, according to people familiar with the matter, as the folk-rock star isn’t wavering in his objections to Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Some people might suggest that Spotify is just doing “as Young requested” by removing his tunes, but he very clearly gave them a choice of sorts at the end of his dramatic missive, and Spotify chose Rogan over Young.
I haven’t been able to find the full letter, but I did find this portion on Twitter, and reading between the lines it would appear that maybe Joe Rogan wasn’t the only reason Young demanded his music be pulled from Spotify. He’s got issues with the quality of music on audio-streaming sites like Spotify, issues that date back several years when he initially pulled his music from such sites before later relenting:
I love how Neil Young inserts a screed about high resolution audio within his open letter about removing his catalog from Spotify.
— Stephen Thomas Erlewine (@sterlewine) January 26, 2022
Also, from what I’ve read, Young wasn’t making much money off allowing his music on Spotify. If that’s the case, this really isn’t the big sacrifice his fans are making it out to be.
In any event, hats off again to Spotify for not bowing to the rage mobs who seek to cancel Joe Rogan. Taking a stand against cancel culturalists is hard these days, but they’ve managed to do it a number of times now with Rogan, who I’m sure takes all of this into very careful consideration as his audience continues to grow every time his critics either come after him – or try and fail to smooth things over.