After Joe Rogan’s signature gold rush, Spotify now has to deal with the harvest.
The latest difficulty in reacting to Spotify’s controversial turn comes from singer and songwriter Neil Young, who says he’s extremely unhappy to share a platform with Rogan. “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all of my music removed from their platform,” Young wrote in an open letter to his manager and record label (which has since been removed from its website). “They may have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.”
The reason? Rogan’s hand in spreading vaccine misinformation. As first reported by rolling stone, Young writes: “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading false information about vaccines – potentially causing the death of those who believe the misinformation is being spread by them. Please act immediately today and keep me informed of the timing.
Young’s manager Frank Gironda has confirmed The daily beast that the letter was real and that he and the singer were working out what to do next. “It’s something that’s really important to Neil,” Gironda said. “He is very upset by this misinformation.” Gironda added: “We’re trying to figure that out right now.”
Young isn’t alone in taking issue with Rogan’s comments in this area. Recently, an open letter signed by more than 1,000 scientists and medical professionals called on Spotify to implement a “misinformation policy” in response to Rogan’s “spread of false and socially harmful claims”. The letter notes that Rogan’s misleading statements, including discouraging young people from getting vaccinated and promoting unproven treatments like ivermectin for COVID-19.
This isn’t the first time Young has objected to his presence on Spotify. He previously pulled his music from the streaming platform because the company’s audio quality was too low. “I don’t need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution,” he said in 2015. That year, Young released his own Pono music player, which focused on high quality sound. , and then attempted to pivot that hardware scheme into its own streaming service (which is currently defunct).
We’ve reached out to Spotify to comment on this latest news and will update the story if we get back to you.