Spotify Punishes Neil Young For Blasting Joe Rogan

By Tyler Pisapia | 4 months ago

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Spotify has officially sided with Joe Rogan over Neil Young after the musician issued an ultimatum in response to the comedian and podcaster’s constant stream of alleged misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the music streaming service is in the process of removing all of Neil Young’s music days after he issued an ultimatum to the platform demanding that it remove Joe Rogan’s podcast and back catalog or he’d walk. Specifically, he took issue with Joe Rogan for “spreading fake information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread.”

Unfortunately, it seems that The Joe Rogan Experience, which went exclusive to Spotify in 2020 as the platform expanded its podcasting library with A-list shows and creators, is far more of a draw for the platform than Neil Young’s entire catalog of music. The company confirmed to the outlet on Wednesday that it is complying with Neil Young’s wishes but hopes he’ll change his mind in the future. In a follow-up letter shared on his website, Neil Young explained that Spotify plays represent 60 percent of his overall music streaming listens, meaning it was a massive revenue stream for him that has now dried up, putting the burden on his record company to absorb. Meanwhile, Joe Rogan will continue to create his podcast. He has not publicly commented on the situation.

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Neil Young on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon

In its statement announcing its siding with Joe Rogan over Neil Young, Spotify noted that it has robust rules and guidelines regarding the spread of COVID-19 misinformation. It even boasts having removed 20,000 podcast episodes related to the pandemic for violating these rules. While not specifically related to COVID-19 misinformation, TheWrap reports that 42 episodes of Joe Rogan’s podcast have been removed since its exclusive port over to the platform.

While that may seem like evidence that Spotify is indeed policing Joe Rogan on its platform, that hasn’t been enough for many of his opponents. The podcast host has talked a lot about COVID-19 vaccinations, alternate treatments, and his own diagnosis with the virus in September of 2021. This recently caught the attention of 270 doctors who, when it comes to COVID-19 information, urged him to… just stop, dude. 

The Guardian reports that 270 U.S. doctors, healthcare professionals and professors penned an open letter to Spotify expressing their concerns over the type of content being promoted on The Joe Rogan Experience with every stream or new episode. They even went as far as to label him “a menace to public health.” 

Joe Rogan has publicly denied allegations that he is anti-vaccination. That said, he’s made claims specifying how healthy a human needs to be for them to be necessary or what other medications one could take to avoid the vaccination. This is the type of content that the doctors writing into Spotify, and Neil Young, are taking issue with. Regardless, though, Joe Rogan was Spotify’s most popular podcast in 2020, so a lot of people continue to listen, and that’s a big plus for Spotify. One wonders if that metric is what’s motivating the platform to keep him going as unfiltered as possible.