Neil Young showdown with Spotify

Neil Young to Spotify: Either remove my music or Joe Rogan podcast

A man checks his smartphone whilst standing amongst illuminated screens bearing the Spotify Technology SA logo in this arranged photograph in London, U.K., on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Spotify Technology SA hired Dawn Ostroff as its chief content officer, tapping a Conde Nast entertainment executive to oversee music, audio and video partnerships. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
By Reuters
25 Jan 2022 10

NEW YORK, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Neil Young has threatened to pull his music from the Spotify streaming service in protest of its relationship with podcaster Joe Rogan, who the prolific singer-songwriter accuses of spreading misinformation about COVID-19, according to media reports on Tuesday.

By Tyler Clifford


Young, who survived polio as a child, briefly posted a letter on his website addressed to his manager and his record label, Warner Music Group, demanding that Spotify no longer carry his music. The letter was later deleted.

“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. … They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” Young wrote in the letter, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“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 newspaper quoted Young, 76, as writing.

Rogan, 54, is the host of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” the top-rated podcast on Spotify, which has exclusive rights to the program.

As of Tuesday, Young’s music, including such songs as “Heart Of Gold,” “Rocking In The Free World” and “Old Man,” was still available on the service, as was Rogan’s podcast.

Spotify, Warner Music Group and “The Joe Rogan Experience” did not immediately respond to requests for comment. A representative for Young could not be reached.

Rogan, who began his career as a stand-up comedian, has long stirred controversy with his views on the pandemic, government mandates and vaccines to control the spread of the coronavirus. He has questioned the need for COVID-19 vaccines on his show and said he used ivermectin, an anti-parasite drug that has no proven benefit against COVID.

In the letter, Young singled out one episode in which a Rogan guest was pushing debunked anti vaccination theories, the Journal reported.

Young’s letter noted that Rogan’s podcast draws 11 million listeners each episode and highlighted that Spotify lacks a misinformation policy, the newspaper said.

Spotify began carrying Rogan’s podcast in September as part of its efforts to transform itself into the Netflix of audio. Rogan maintains full creative control over the show.

Earlier this month, 270 scientists and medical professionals signed an open letter to Spotify to take action against Rogan, accusing him of spreading falsehoods on the podcast. (Reporting by Tyler Clifford; Editing by Bill Berkrot)


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All Comments 10

  • Oh please and now suddenly Neil Young is a Covid expert, like Bill Gates is an epidemiologist? Both are co-opted by the media merely to help sell sensation. Reuters’s choice of words “antiparasitic drug” and their verifiably false claim “there’s no evidence”, give their game away. Supporting this kind of action is nothing less than supporting censorship. Reality is far too nuanced and complex for us to have this black & white, right or wrong stance. For the record, I’m a scientist and I’m vaccinated.

    • @DM we really should have that edit button…

      It’s telling that Neil Young later deleted his letter. This makes it a non-event, not even newsworthy.

  • These has-beens make statements to make themsleves relevant, then when they see that the main stream of humanity is against them, they withdraw.
    Of course main stream media (not humanity) makes everything irrevelant, relevant.

  • Joe Rogan like millions of others has had Covid and rightly doesn`t believe that a vaccine is necessary because he has Natural Immunity (just like millions of others). The CDC has just recently acknowledged that Natural Immunity out ranks vaccination by orders of magnitude. The slant of this article is unsurprising as your publication has been nothing more than a shill for big pharma and the ridiculous mandates. When 70 000 partially vaccinated and unvaccinated NHS staff are prepared to lose their jobs over the mandates your claim of 270 (so called) scientists opposed to Joe Rogan is kind of meaningless. I suspect Spotify will stay with the money !

  • We’ve seen the needle and the damage done* – by those who won’t get the jab. Nothing wrong when one of the greats’ of our generation sends a message. If a media platform encourages or supports contentious content, they must understand they are rocking in the free world* and may catch a klap. (* Lyrics by NY)

  • I like Joe Rogan but don’t agree with all his views. I like Neil Young but not all his songs. Social media and it’s toxic ‘agree or be canceled’ culture has resulted in the stunting of meaningful dialogue and open debate, it’s ridiculous and dangerous to insist that only one view should be aired. Well, I hope Neil Young will remember, Alabama don’t need him around anyhow…

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