Neil Young’s Spotify ultimatum of “it’s either him or me” will see his music removed from the streaming service.
The singer, 76, is furious with controversial podcaster Joe Rogan, who has been heavily criticised for spreading misinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic, and has openly shared his anti-vaccine views.
It led to the Heat of Gold hitmaker writing an open letter to his manager Frank Gironda and record label Warner Records, which was later taken down, in which he expressed concern over Rogan’s anti-vaccine and Covid-sceptic claims.
In reference to Spotify, he wrote: “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” Young continued as he accused Spotify of “spreading fake information about vaccines” due to their $100 million deal with Rogan.
AFP via Getty Images)
And it turns out that the music giants have accepted his request to remove his tunes, with the songs set to be taken down.
Spotify said in a statement to Variety : “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. We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic.
“We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
The singer had criticised the platform for allowing airtime of “misinformation” and “lies about Covid”.
Comedian Joe Rogan has caused controversy due to his stance on the Covid-19 pandemic, and once alleged the deadly virus could be treated with the drug ivermectin, which is more commonly used to help de-worm horses.
Neil said that Spotify had recently “become a very damaging force via its public misinformation and lies about COVID” and said most of its listeners would be easy to “swing to the wrong side of the truth”.
“These young people believe Spotify would never present grossly unfactual information,” he commented. “They unfortunately are wrong. I Knew I had to try to point that out.”
He admitted he didn’t have the power to remove the music himself as the control over music uploaded to streaming services is determined by the rights-holder, which in regards to his music belongs to Warner Records.
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