Spotify will no longer serve as a hosting platform to Canadian folk singer Neil Young after Young threatened to pull his music from the service if it continued to provide a platform to Joe Rogan. Spotify, unsurprisingly, went with the podcaster whose episodes draw 11 million listeners each.

Young recently published an open letter criticizing Spotify for hosting Rogan, whom Young has accused of spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19, a common criticism of the television host turned podcaster.

“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,” Young wrote in the now-deleted letter. “They can have Young or Rogan. Not both.”

“We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users … We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon,” a Spotify spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter in response to Young removing his music. Young’s decision is estimated to lose him 60 percent of his streaming revenue.

Young’s protest of Rogan’s presence on Spotify comes shortly after a group of doctors petitioned Spotify to remove Rogan for similar reasons. That too went largely unheard.

Spotify ostensibly choosing Rogan over Young is unsurprising, considering that not even Neil Young’s catalog of classics could compete with the numbers Rogan puts up with every podcast episode. The story led to a wide range of reactions on social media, as Rogan fans crowed that he “won” by remaining on the platform while those in Young’s camp applauded the singer for taking a principled stand in an issue he knew he’d likely “lose.”

It remains to be seen if Young’s actions will inspire other artists to follow in his footsteps. The story has led to increased calls from fans to get artists to join Young’s protest and while Spotify can certainly suffer the loss of one older rock star, things will get trickier if, say, Taylor Swift joined his cause.





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