Neil Young removes music from Spotify and says that the platform spreads disinformation

Neil Young made his promise to have his music removed from Spotify after demanding that the streaming service choose between him and Joe Rogan, the controversial podcaster accused of spreading misinformation.

The prolific, legendary singer behind “Heart of Gold” and “Harvest Moon” had published an open letter this week accusing Spotify of “spreading false information about vaccines – potentially causing deaths” by posting Rogan’s podcast that gets millions of listens.

On Wednesday, he published a second letter to his website thanking his record label, Warners Reprise Records, for their support “in the name of truth.”

He said that Spotify accounts for 60 percent of his music’s global streaming revenue.

Young has considered the booth worth it: “Spotify has become the home of life-threatening covid disinformation,” he wrote. “Lies are sold for money.”

“I realized that I could not continue to support SPOTIFY’s life-threatening misinformation to the music-loving public.”

His music was expected to come down within a few hours Wednesday night, according to The Wall Street Journal, which first reported that the removal was confirmed.

Young had 2.4 million followers and over six million listeners every month on the popular streaming platform.

Rogan has a multi-year exclusive agreement with Spotify, reportedly in the amount of 100 million dollars, and a massive number of followers.

But critics say his podcast is a platform for selling conspiracy theories and misinformation, especially about Covid-19.

Rogan has advised against vaccination in young people and promoted the off-label use of the antiparasitic drug ivermectin to treat the virus.

In a statement widely available in the US media, Spotify said on Wednesday that “we want all the music and audio content in the world to be available to Spotify users. “We have detailed content policies in place, and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcasts related to Covid since the pandemic began.”

“We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify,” the service said, “but hope to welcome him back soon.”

Young’s move followed the publication in December of an open letter from 270 doctors, doctors and professors to Spotify, asking the service to “moderate disinformation on its platform.”

“It is a sociological issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to flourish on its platform,” the letter said.

This is not the first time that the “Rockin ‘In The Free World” singer has removed his music from Spotify. In 2015, he did so after citing sound quality issues.

In his latest missive, Young once again blew Spotify’s sound, saying the company “continues to sell the lowest quality music production. So much for art.”

“But now it’s in the past for me,” he wrote, recommending a number of other platforms that stream his music in high resolution.

“Soon my music will live on in a better place.”

(AFP)

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