Neil Young explains decision to remove music from Spotify

The artist posted a letter explaining his decision on his official website.

January 27, 2022, 2:50 PM

Spotify announced it has officially removed Neil Young's music from the streaming service as per the folk-rock legend's request because he didn't want share the platform with Joe Rogan's popular podcast, which Young accuses of spreading misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and the pandemic.

"We want all the world's music and audio content to be available to Spotify users," a Spotify spokesperson said in a statement. "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-19 since the start of the pandemic," the statement continued. "We regret Neil's decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon."

Meanwhile, Young posted a lengthy message on his official website regarding his decision, noting that he believes that Spotify has "recently become a very damaging force via its public misinformation and lies about COVID."

Young noted, "Most of the listeners hearing the unfactual, misleading and false COVID information on SPOTIFY are 24 years old, impressionable and easy to swing to the wrong side of the truth. These young people believe SPOTIFY would never present grossly unfactual information. They unfortunately are wrong. I knew I had to try to point that out."

Young also thanked his label, Warner Brothers/Reprise Records, for supporting him in his decision, noting that the company will take a sizable financial loss because "Spotify represents 60% of the streaming of my music to listeners around the world."

The artist also pointed out that fans will still be able to stream his music on other platforms, and that some of those services offer higher-quality audio than Spotify.

Young ended his message by saying he hopes "other artists and record companies will move off the SPOTIFY platform and stop supporting SPOTIFY's deadly misinformation about COVID."