Neil Young's music is being removed from Spotify.

News 28/01/2022

The 'Heart of Gold' hitmaker issued an ultimatum to the streaming service earlier this week over his frustration that they are “spreading fake information about vaccines” through some of its output, citing comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast 'The Joe Rogan Experience’ as an example, and now the company have confirmed they are in the process of taking his songs down, though they hope to "welcome him back soon".

A Spotify spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter: “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 76-year-old singer/songwriter had made the request in an online letter to his record company.

He stated: “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. 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. Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”

Rogan, 54, has come under fire many times throughout the ongoing pandemic due to comments he has made about coronavirus on his podcast.

Earlier this month, 270 doctors, scientists, healthcare professionals and professionals addressed an open letter to Spotify expressing their concerns about the medical misinformation being shared by Joe on his show, which reaches 11 million listeners.

They requested the streamer to “establish a clear and public policy to moderate misinformation on its platform” and said the popular show had a “concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the Covid-19 pandemic”.

They argued that the company had a “responsibility” to minimise the falsehoods stemming from their service.

It read: “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”

This is not the first time Young has wanted to take his songs off the streaming service.

Rogan has since responded, posting a 10-minute podcast described as 'Joe's thoughts'.

"The problem I have with the term misinformation, especially today, is that many of the things that we thought of as misinformation just a short while ago are now accepted as fact," he said. "Like for instance, eight months ago if you said, ‘If you get vaccinated, you can still catch COVID, and you can still spread COVID,’ you’d be removed from social media. They would ban you from certain platforms. Now, that’s accepted as fact."

Talking about Young's decision to pull his music from Spotify, Rogan says "I most certainly don’t want that. I’m a Neil Young fan, I’ve always been a Neil Young fan."

In 2015, he removed most of his back catalogue from Spotify - and their competitor Apple Music - citing concerns over sound quality.

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