Neil Young wants all his music pulled from streaming service Spotify as quickly as possible, according to an open letter the veteran rock musician posted to his website that’s since been deleted. What’s the problem? Young doesn’t like the misinformation about vaccines being peddled by Joe Rogan, the podcast host who signed a $US100 ($139) million deal with Spotify in 2020.
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” Young wrote in the open letter to his managers. “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.”
“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” Young wrote. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
It’s not clear why the statement was deleted from Young’s website, but Rolling Stone captured the message before it was purged. The 76-year-old rock musician has taken issue with music streaming previously, but it used to be about the low-quality audio that was provided back in the mid-2010s. Today’s fight is all about the crusade against anti-vaxxers and others who are prolonging the coronavirus pandemic.
Rogan, who got COVID-19 in Sept. 2021, has platformed plenty of conspiracy theorists and quacks over the years. Recently, Rogan had on a virologist named Dr. Robert Malone who insisted there was a link between mass vaccinations and something he calls “mass formation psychosis,” something that doesn’t have any scientific credibility. But Spotify is unlikely to ever get rid of Rogan, no matter how many cranks he has on, as Gizmodo pointed out earlier this month.
Young pointed to the huge listening audience of the Joe Rogan Experience as a reason to take a stand against his bullshit.
“With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence,” Young’s letter says. “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
If you’re a big fan of Neil Young and subscribe to Spotify you may want to listen to him one last time before his songs get pulled. But then again, it’s still not clear why Young’s letter to his management team was deleted. For all we know, he could’ve had a change of heart.