UPDATED 1/26 5:15 p.m. ET: Spotify is pulling Neil Young’s catalog following his request for its removal amid criticism aimed at the streaming platform.
“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,” a spokesperson for the company told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
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According to the letter cited by Rolling Stone, the musician wishes to have the rest of his music removed from the streamer because he believes they are “spreading fake information about vaccines.” Young blames the spread of misinformation about the vaccines on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast and Spotify for allowing it to remain on its platform.
“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 in his letter, which was addressed to his manager Frank Gironda and Tom Corson, who is the co-chairman and chief operating officer of Warner Bros. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” Young continued. “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both. 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 also asserted in the letter that is Spotify’s responsibility to “mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform.”
Earlier this year, 270 doctors, scientists, nurses, and educators signed an open letter to Spotify also urging the platform to take a stand against the misinformation Rogan is spreading about the vaccine on his podcast.
Young already removed most of his music from Spotify years ago because he felt like the sound quality on the platform was poor, and now it looks like the rest of his catalog might disappear soon as well. Spotify has yet to respond to Young’s demands.