Spotify Reportedly Removed Neil Young’s Music Over Joe Rogan’s Podcast Objections

Neil Young performs at the Quebec Summer Festival on July 6, 2018 in Quebec, Canada.

Scott Legato | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Spotify is working to remove Neil Young’s music from the streaming platform following an impasse over star podcaster Joe Rogan’s coronavirus comments, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Young posted an open letter to his management and record label on his website earlier this week, calling Spotify out on what he considered dangerous misinformation about the coronavirus vaccine by Rogan.

“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,” Young’s letter reportedly said, according to Rolling Stone. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”

The letter has since been deleted, but The Wall Street Journal said Young had discussions with Warner Records and Spotify. The request to remove the music was reportedly made on Wednesday, and the Wall Street Journal said it would take several hours for it to take effect. Young’s music was still available on the service as of 4 p.m. EST. His artist page said he has over 6 million monthly listeners.

Spokespersons for Spotify and Warner Records, his label, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

This is the latest public backlash against Rogan, who hosts one of Spotify’s most popular podcasts, ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’. Spotify acquired exclusive streaming rights to the show in 2020 in a deal worth more than $100 million.

Rogan has repeatedly used his platform, with millions of listeners, to discuss the Covid-19 pandemic and vaccinations, once saying young adults don’t need to get vaccinated. That prompted Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, to call Rogan.

Young isn’t the first to take to the platform to update its policies around the podcaster, either.

Earlier this month, 270 doctors and medical professionals wrote an open letter to the streaming giant asking it to take action against Rogan’s podcast, accusing the company of spreading misinformation.

“By allowing the spread of false and socially harmful claims, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to undermine public trust in scientific research and cast doubt on the credibility of data-based advice offered by healthcare professionals,” the letter from the healthcare professionals reads.

Read the full Wall Street Journal report here.

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