Spotify to Remove Neil Young’s Music Following Ultimatum: ‘We Regret Neil’s Decision’

Neil Young Trump
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Neil Young Trump
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Neil Young. Photo Credit: Per Ole Hagen / CC by 2.0

Yesterday, Neil Young made headlines for threatening to remove his music from Spotify over comments that comedian Joe Rogan (and his podcast guests) made about COVID-19 vaccines. Now, the Stockholm-based platform has officially started taking down the “Heart of Gold” singer-songwriter’s tracks.

76-year-old Neil Young took aim at Spotify – which inked a reportedly $100 million podcast deal with Joe Rogan back in May of 2020 – in an open letter posted on his website. In the since-deleted post, the “Old Man” artist made clear that the music-streaming giant would have to choose between The Joe Rogan Experience and his songs.

“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,” wrote Young. “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,” the firmly worded ultimatum continued. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”

Notwithstanding the message’s aforementioned deletion from the website of Neil Young, the “Down by the River” artist evidently held firm with his demands – as did Spotify, which is preparing to remove the Toronto native’s work.

“We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators,” a Spotify spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal. “We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”

Meanwhile, Young today penned a series of additional posts about the much-publicized situation. One of the pieces, entitled “Thanks For Standing With Me,” explains that both Hipgnosis (which bought a 50 percent stake in Young’s catalog last year) and his record label supported the decision to exit Spotify, on which he boasted 6.09 million monthly listeners.

“I want to thank my partners for standing with me,” wrote Neil Young. “My deal with Merck Mercuriadis and HIPGNOSIS began on Jan 1, 2021. The company HIPGNOSIS now has part of my publishing and I am very happy with their support.

“I want to personally thank Merck and HIPGNOSIS for standing with me. Losing 60% of worldwide streaming income by leaving SPOTIFY is a very big deal, a costly move, but worth it for our integrity and our beliefs. Misinformation about COVID is over the line.

“My good friends at WARNER BROTHERS – REPRISE also stand by me and I love them for it. Misinformation about COVID cannot be accepted. I sincerely hope that other artists can make a move, but I can’t really expect that to happen.

“I did this because I had no choice in my heart. It is who I am. I am not censoring anyone. I am speaking my own truth. I know Daniel Ek who owns SPOTIFY, a private business. I like Daniel. I wish he had not taken the steps he has taken because it stopped my music from being shared on his SPOTIFY platform. It stopped us from working together to spread the music. But we are still friends,” the message continues.

In another article published today, entitled “Spotify In the Name of Truth,” Young criticized Spotify’s audio quality and business model, writing in part: “SPOTIFY has become the home of life threatening COVID misinformation. Lies being sold for money.

“There is an upside for my listeners, people who may be listening to the 60 years of music I have made in my life so far. It is this: many other platforms, Amazon, Apple, and Qobuz, to name a few, present my music today in all its High-Resolution glory – the way it is intended to be heard, while unfortunately SPOTIFY continues to peddle the lowest quality in music reproduction.

“So much for art. But now that is in the past for me. Soon my music will live on in a better place,” penned Young, whose failure to mention HD-audio streaming platform Tidal could have something to do with their previous dispute.

At the time of this piece’s writing, Spotify hadn’t yet taken down Young’s music, and Merck Mercuriadis, Hipgnosis, Warner Music Group, Joe Rogan, Spotify, and Daniel Ek alike didn’t seem to have commented on the situation on Twitter.

53 Responses

  1. C'mon Man

    Neil really went out on a limb, going after an easy target like Rogan, who probably barely shares an audience with him anyway. If Neil truly wants to make a statement, why not attack Eric Clapton, Van Morrison and Meat Loaf, anti-vaxxers all.

    • Dejan Matic

      Eric Clapton is an anti-vaxxer just for telling people about the serious side effects he has from the vaccine?
      This is the problem! You cant say anything without being labeled as an anti vaxxer! Common sense does not exist anymore.

  2. boosted3

    There was no threat. There was a command. The “him or me” at the end of that command was nothing more than reinforcement of his clear intent: take it down, now.

  3. Dominick

    Wow, Neil Young has a pretty serious ego there. Of course Hipgnosis and Reprise have to pretend to support this nonsense (while calculating how much they’re going to lose).

    • Margaret T

      Ego? He probably does, but that’s not what this is about. Nice try. Rogan spews false info, or has people on his show who do, regularly. Enough. It’s anti-American to spread information about a deadly virus that has killed people and harmed our economy and way of life. I’m sure everyone would like to get things back to normal, and Rogan’s way isn’t going to get us there.

      • Margaret detector

        Yes because the way you went about it worked so well! A million people dead despite idiots talking abt masks and vaccines which are ineffective dangerous garbage. Time for the people in charge to admit they suck. Rogan harmed no one fauci killed millions worldwide between the virus and vaccine.

        • Hello Margaret try Haldol

          Yikes, I thought you people were waiting for JFK Jr to show up in Dallas. Get a grip and drop the lies…

        • Jeremy

          Yeah funny thing you mentioned. All these people died despite people talking about masks and vaccines!
          Here’s the thing about wearing masks and getting vaccinated it doesn’t do any good to just sit around talking about it which is why we’re in this problem because there are too many people who cannot be grown adults and work together.
          The way your mind works? -you think if people didn’t wear masks or get vaccinated, less people would have died. Right?
          I mean, that… uh… makes perfect sense.
          If all the losers out there had helped out and gotten their heads out of their behinds, we could have saved hundreds of thousands.
          The u.s. had 40 times more people die than Australia, despite having only 5 times the population. We have 65 times as many people as New Zealand. But we have had 17,000 times more people die. Guess which countries took it seriously and which countries didn’t?

      • Who Are The Brain Police

        Margaret T, what “false info” does Rogan “spew”?

        Rogan didn’t say that the vaccines were going to prevent people from getting Covid, but lots of other people in the media, Big Pharma, and bureaucrats were saying that over a year ago.

        Rogan didn’t say that the vaccines were safe. Lots of adults have died of heart issues and organs shutting down after getting the jab and boosters. Young people have been getting a high number of heart issues and blood clots. We have the media, funded by Big Pharma, and tech companies, trying to block this info from getting out.

        Rogan didn’t say that everybody must get a vaccine, otherwise they should lose their job. That’s what Joe Biden, the cheater and pervert, said. That’s what big business wanted. That’s what Big Pharma wanted for profits. That’s what schools wanted for obedience.

        Rogan didn’t try to stop people from hearing about measures that would help people from getting sick, or reduce their chance of a lengthy illness. But that’s what Big Tech, Big Media, and Big Government have done. We all know losing weight, taking zinc, HCQ, Ivermectin, nasal sprays, and getting lots of Vitamin D work to help the body fight off viruses. There have been lots of studies.

        Who are the science deniers? Who are the Fascists? Who is against free speech? People like you are, Margaret.

        • K

          No scientist has stated that the vaccine will prevent you from getting the virus. That is not how vaccines work.

      • Al Bornick

        Have you ever heard of freedom of speech. It’s guaranteed by our constitution. Whether you like it or not, you idiot.

    • Burton Ward

      Spotify is complicit, through their greed, in spreading false information about a disease that is getting millions sick or killing them. They should be charged as an accomplice.

        • Sandwich time

          I remember when he had Alex Jones on to talk about all those crisis actors in Newton CT. Joe’s such a stand up guy having that bean bag full of hot air and excrement on his show.

          And, yes, spreading misinformation has resulted in people dying. I’ve lost friends and family both literally and figuratively to right wing stupidity during this pandemic.

      • Thomas Jefferson

        Hey Siri you should be in a mental institution. People are allowed to have their own opinion.

  4. A Swede

    Seems like Neil Young thinks he’s dealing with some woke American corporation here. Far from it. Swedes are pretty open-minded and liberal folks, but they won’t go for this kind of public threatening and absurdity. No way, sorry. Notice they made their decision in under 24 hrs.

      • American detector

        Outrage at the word is all you idiots have . The streets are full of victims of wokeness take a look around sometime you hypnotized idiot.

        • Someone who can aford dictionary

          Look at all those victims of wokeness getting respected and cared for on the streets.

          Learn to pronounce

          past of wake1.

          adjective: woke; comparative adjective: woker; superlative adjective: wokest

          alert to injustice in society, especially racism.
          “we need to stay angry, and stay woke”

          I see why you don’t like the term Klanma.

    • Feck Eck

      Daniel Eck is a profiteering azzhole and is no credit to the Swedish nation. The fact you think he is shows how far Sweden has fallen. You’ve also done a great job of decimating your own country through the worst woke bs of any country ever, so STFU.

      Spotify is a scourge to every musician not on a major label, period end of story. Daniel Eck is a scourge to creatives. He just deplatformed comedy, because he didn’t think it was worth the money. He invested in military companies (how very Swedish militarist of him) He’s a walking corporate psychopath who WILL be held accountable.

  5. My My Hey Hey

    I have yet to read what was “false” about “the vaccines” on the Joe Rogan podcast.

    The vaccines don’t work. Look at all the people who had two jabs and boosters, and yet they’re still getting Covid. Stop kidding yourself that those people wouldn’t have been in the hospital without the jabs and boosts. Are you that stupid to keep believing the lie?

    The vaccines cause heart problems in younger people. That’s a fact.

    The vaccine has killed many people who’ve gotten it. I personally know two people who died from the jab, and many more who ended up in the hospital with complications. Why isn’t this on the news? Who pays for advertising on the news these days? Big Pharma.

    If you’ve already had Covid, you’re good. The CDC said so in the past week. I had an antibody test after I got Covid and my levels were higher than somebody who’d been vaxxed and boosted. I didn’t need the vaccine. That doesn’t make me an anti-vaxxer.

    I remember when Neil Young said he could tell the quality difference between vinyl and digital. That guy has been standing in front of loud amps for decades. He is delusional.

    I think Daryl Hannah is behind Neil Young’s insanity. When Jackson Browne was dating her years ago, he had to beat her ass because she was so insane. She’s probably driving Neil Young to make stupid decisions. Or maybe Neil Young is starting to get dementia like Joe Biden did many years ago.

    • Wonderin’

      “Hmmm… I think I’ll take my conspiracy theories and cherry-picked ‘facts’ and double-down with a steaming helping of violent misogyny!”

      • Nice woke reply asshole

        Wow you proved him exactly right and said bullshit and misogyny and conspiracy theories in a lazy ass 3 sentence post rather than confront anything was said. The typical woke covidian retard reply. All that was missing was some bullshit about 5g, magnetic arms and microchips.

        • Idiot Detector

          You used the words woke and retard and decided to use a profanities to prove your point…which you did the opposite of. No matter what name you use when you comment, the theme and tone of your comments is always the same. It’s easy to spot your ignorant words. Go away already, you troll.

          • Schmuck detector

            Go point by point and disprove anything he said in that post? All you idiots can say is disinfo and then vouch for the standard of care that never tried anything except remdesivir and ventilators, which is responsible for all the deaths. Hospitals killed people, cut them off from treatments which may have worked. The vaccines have killed people if we had a real media that would be obvious even to morons like yourself.

      • Idiot Detector

        Now you’re using a similar screen name to mine. You lack originality, common sense and any ethical character.

    • Paul

      Thanks for trying to spread more lies. It’s clear that you have your own agenda and “read” only what you want when the facts are obvious. The vaccines do work, and are working, and this is easily verifiable. People are not dying from the vaccines, and this is also easy to verify. As for dementia, it appears you are the one suffering from that. Shameful.

      • Brian Stelters Snake

        Search died unexpectedly on Google news for a few weeks and see how long you keep believing that the vaccine killed no one. I challenge you. Kids dropping dead left and right if you look around and turn off cnn once in a while

        • Paul

          Right and left, huh? That’s not what Fox says, and I watch that channel. It’s not what anyone says except far right BS non-news channels.

  6. Idiot Detector

    Neil Young is a jackwad piece of garbage. It was all about free speech when he made money. Now, he is a leftist tyrant who channels Hitler.

    I hope he dies soon of stupidity and drugs.

    • Idiot Detector

      You’ll die one day and the world will be a better place. Using my screen name doesn’t make you any less lame. Everyone can tell, based on your meaningless comments, that you are not me.

      • Idiot Detector

        Thank GOD for Ron Desantis and Joe Rogan. It is past time to annihilate Branch Covidiots and their tyrannical government maggots.

        • Fritz

          Idiot Detector; your comments are quite elementary – bland – lacking structure if any educational value. Your comments are just name calling, eyeball scratching and belittling to yourself. Those comments that support such statements, their comments fall into the same category. Down below a word I just read ‘Covididiots’; Dumb dumb dumb. There no other words for it; dumb. Your comments match the looks of those who raided the capital; Crazy and deep wooded southern mentally.

  7. Keep on Rockin in the Unfree World

    Years and years and years of millionaire news readers on CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, PBS, etc saying that Trump colluded with the Russians and other lies. No proof.

    Every mainstream outlet, tech company, and NGO shutting down talk and use of HCQ, Ivermectin, Vitamin D, and other things as a preventative measure. Instead, we still have Democrat operatives saying Trump said to inject bleach, which he never said.

    This past year, every lefty losing their mind and calling the planned FBI invasion of the Capitol building an “insurrection” when the cops opened the doors and many of the people involved are ANTIFA.

    Let’s not talk about all the obvious voter fraud going on in at least five states on election night. Make sure to hide all the vote counting and wheeling in crates of phony ballots.

    Instead, let’s talk about some old man complaining about Joe Rogan’s guests, but never quoting anything they said. The Fascists on the Left are now sticking up for huge pharmaceutical companies. Never thought I’d see the day.

    • Idiot Detector

      You’re a moron. No matter how many words you type, or stupid names you choose to use, it’s always the same stupidity – no facts, no proof of claims, no common sense, no sanity. You forgot to mention George Soros, Bill Clinton, Hilalry’s hard drive, and all the other conspiracy theories that have been proven wrong time and time again. You need mental help.

    • F the Nutsie Right

      Zip it Clown. You bozos and your fake electors are headed to prison. Your Oathkeeper messiah is headed to federal prison, where all you seditionists belong. George Bush’s election in 2004 had TONS of phony voting in Ohio, and yet Dems sucked it up. You clowns stole the 2000 election in Florida with the help of the Supreme Court and Dems were silent. You’re a fricking idiot, so just go out and do whatever you need to do, and get it over with, and go straight to Jail, you won’t get your $200 SNAP payment.

    • End the Right Wing Clown Circus

      Trump’s OWN ACTIONS AND WORDS when questioned about Putin PROVED he was licking his azz AM and PM. Trump spent YEARS with the Miss World pageant taking place in post USSR Russia. Trump was married to two eastern european women, but, somehow, the KGB and later FSB never took interest in him? You are so clueless it’s pathetic. Trump was and is CLEARLY on the Russian loan payroll. Don Jr admitted it on television. Many Republicans are taking Russian money. You are so unbelievably stupid and ignorant of FACTS.

    • Idiot Detector

      Using my screen name to try and gain credibility for your ignorant comments, I see. It doesn’t work. No matter what name you use, even mine, you will always appear stupid.

    • Fritz

      Idiot Detector; great name attracts the same! Trump 2024? Saddened world to want to support a narcissistic pervert! Oh, and uneducated. And, Idiot Detector, you’re displaying your support of the mobile home troops who attacked the capital – and Trump went and hid his darkened soul during the awkward and embarrassing non- military style attack. Really, the man is soooo mentally broken, and you know this – just forget he exists. As one of the remarks below, he’ll be in jail shortly or fined for a series of illegal practices. Let’s wait comfortably until his taxes are and will become public – you’ll change your Trump derangement real quick. NO PRESIDENT has ever fought so hard to stop his taxes from being made public. That’s just one of the the indicators of his rampant dishonestly!! I’m embarrassed for his family! His wife loathes him! Trumps sister states he’s then most dangerous man in politics. Let’s learn from close family statements and actions on what Trump is like. Trump is for SELF, not AMERICA!

      • Idiot Detector

        Trump sucks and he’s headed to jail soon…along with his band of misfit criminals like Rudy Guiliani. What a complete goof that guy is. American’s Mayor – ha!

        • Fritz

          Oh, I see. Some real idiot is using your screen name to post stupid comments. Sorry for the reference. It seems people love to hide behind the Internet to post their moronic views or or just stir up trouble to get attention. That’s sad for them. Lots of tough words when they’re anonymous.