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  • Niall Smith

Spotify Removes Neil Young’s Music From Their Platform

Unravelling the heated battle between the titular singer and the streaming giant.

Canadian-American rock titan Neil Young has been trending all week after his beef with Spotify over their support of the polarising The Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

On January 24, 2022, Young posted an open letter where he prepositioned removing his music from Spotify if they did not remove The Joe Rogan Experience from their platform. Amidst numerous reports of sexist rhetoric on the show and COVID-19 vaccine misinformation allegations, Young wrote:

“With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, [The Joe Rogan Experience], 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, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”

Young added: “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.”

This move was greeted with mixed reception from music fans. Although The Joe Rogan Experience nets Spotify lots of revenue, removing a large majority of the 76-year-old singer’s catalogue was viewed as a cowardly decision. Spotify didn’t find any negotiable middle ground to rectify the issue.

Some also saw the news as exemplary of the music industry as a whole. In response, comedian and writer Tom Scharpling tweeted: “Love the clowns who are laughing as if Neil Young ever thought Spotify would drop Joe Rogen. The guy took a stand, put his money where his mouth is. Forced a shitty company to make a true colours-revealing decision. This is just one of the many reasons Neil is an all-timer.”

The back-and-forth has perpetuated the negative stigma and reality between artists and the music industry in general. That's why we're here at Cactus City—our Charter of Good Practice exists to create a safer space for artists.

Currently, Neil Young’s music is still available on platforms like Apple and Amazon Music.


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