Neil Young asked his managers to delete his music from Spotify over Joe Rogan’s vaccine misinformation.
In a now-deleted letter posted to his website, Young told his managers why he made the decision. “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 singer writes. “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,” Young continues. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Neil Young is referencing the stream of vaccine disinformation that is flowing out of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. More than 270 doctors, nurses, and scientists banded together to ask Spotify to do something about the baseless claims the Joe Rogan podcast circulates.
“Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy,” that letter notes. Neil Young is one of the first artists to publicly ask for the removal of his music from the platform. But the singer himself has never been fond of music streaming.
At the time of writing, Neil Young’s catalog is still available for streaming on Spotify.
There’s no telling how long that will last, though. If the artist follows through with his threat, Neil Young albums could disappear from the streaming service overnight. But will Spotify dump Joe Rogan to preserve Neil Young? That’s unlikely. It would take many more artists banding together for Spotify to take notice and remove the podcast.
Spotify paid $100 million to acquire The Joe Rogan Experience exclusivity, so it’s not going to be keen to explode that deal. It’s also rumored that the JRE podcast brings in 11 million listeners per episode, so it’s a huge chunk of Spotify’s monthly active users who are listening to the podcast.