Spotify deletes the songs of Neil Young after the singer’s órdago
Neil Young, 76, is a classic of American music, with hits like ‘Heart of Gold’ and ‘Harvest Moon’, which have been listened to hundreds of millions of times on Spotify. His rival in this fair, Joe Rogan, may be less well known beyond US borders. But he is a central voice in the country’s political and cultural discourse, especially from the libertarian, alternative, anti-correctness camp. His views on the pandemic and the vaccine have stirred the American population in the last two years.
The folk and rock singer was number one on the ‘Billboard’ ranking for the first and only time in 1972 with ‘Heart of Gold’ (that same year, the album that included that song, ‘Harvest’, was the best-selling in USA.).
Rogan, meanwhile, is the biggest personality in the US in the world of podcasts, a format that has garnered much of the public’s attention in the last decade. His show, ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’, is the most listened to on Spotify and on Apple’s podcast platform. One measure of his success: In 2020, Rogan signed an exclusivity deal with Spotify for more than $100 million.
Young demanded Spotify which, in essence, would drive the goose that lays the golden eggs off his platform. He asked for it in a letter to the company in which he justified his decision that “Spotify is spreading false information about vaccines, which can potentially cause the death of those who believe the misinformation they are being provided.”
Rogan’s controversial statements about the pandemic have been plentiful: he has broadly fought restrictions, argued that healthy young people should not be vaccinated, slammed Anthony Fauci, a medical authority on infectious diseases and senior adviser to the President Joe Biden’s pandemic – and has promoted the use of ivermectin – a drug that the FDA rejects for the treatment of Covid – and that he himself took when he was infected with the virus.
“With close to eleven million listeners per episode, ‘The Joe Rogan Experience,’ appearing 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,” Young wrote in his letter. “I want to let Spotify know that I want to get all my music off the platform TODAY.”
Young’s demand comes the same month that a group of 270 scientists and medical professionals sent a letter to Spotify accusing the podcast of “promoting baseless conspiracy theories” about the pandemic that cause “mistrust in science.” and in medicine. «They can have Rogan or Young. Not both”, the singer threatened in his letter, which he has already deleted from his website. Spotify has agreed with him and has stayed with the star of the podcast. Yesterday began the process of removing Young’s songs. On top of this decision, perhaps the singer could have been more bothered by the reaction of many on social networks: “Who is Neil Young?” became a ‘trending topic’. “We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but look forward to welcoming him back soon,” the company said in a statement.