Spotify removes Neil Young tunes following Rogan vaccine row
In a growing sign that the biggest digital tech platforms are becoming effective publishers, Spotify vows to remove Neil Young following a feud over podcaster Joe Rogan’s false Covid claims.
In an open letter to his manager and record label this week, Young demanded that his songs be removed from the streaming platform, after he accused Rogan of spreading vaccine misinformation, as well as other conspiracy theories.
His letter read: “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.”
A Spotify spokesperson confirmed the news with the Hollywood Reporter yesterday, and a spokesperson said: “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.”
Young is not the only one complaining about Rogan.
Just a few weeks back, 270 doctors, scientists, healthcare professionals and professors wrote an open letter to Spotify, expressing concern about medical misinformation on his podcast.
The Joe Rogan Experience is the most popular podcast on Spotify, and the American commentator penned a $100m deal back in 2020 that gave it exclusive rights to his show.
However, what is interesting about Spotify’s decision is that it is clearly taking responsibility as a publisher, regulating its own content and becoming increasingly accountable to the people who use and depend on it.
More to follow