Spotify removing Neil Young's music after his Joe Rogan ultimatum
This combination photo shows Neil Young in Calabasas, Calif., on May 18, 2016, left, and UFC announcer and podcaster Joe Rogan before a UFC on FOX 5 event in Seattle on Dec. 7, 2012. (AP Photo)
Published Wednesday, January 26, 2022 5:41PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 26, 2022 5:41PM EST
Jan 26 (Reuters) - Neil Young's music is being removed from Spotify's streaming service after the singer-songwriter objected to his songs playing on the same platform that offers Joe Rogan's podcast, the company and the musician said on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Young had released a letter addressed to his manager and record label, Warner Music Group , demanding that Spotify no longer carry his music because he said Rogan spreads misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines.
On Wednesday, the "Heart of Gold" and "Rocking In the Free World" singer thanked his record label for "standing with me in my decision to pull all my music from Spotify," and he encouraged other musicians to do the same.
"Spotify has become the home of life threatening COVID misinformation," he said on his website. "Lies being sold for money."
The Swedish company said it worked to balance "both safety for listeners and freedom for creators" and had removed more than 20,000 podcast episodes related COVID-19 in accordance with its "detailed content policies."
"We regret Neil's decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon," Spotify said in a statement.
Rogan, 54, is the host of "The Joe Rogan Experience," the top-rated podcast on Spotify, which holds exclusive rights to the program.
He has stirred controversy with his views on the pandemic, government mandates and vaccines to control the spread of the coronavirus.
Earlier this month, 270 scientists and medical professionals signed a letter urging Spotify to take action against Rogan, accusing him of spreading falsehoods on the podcast.
Young, 76, said Spotify accounted for 60% of the streaming of his music to listeners around the world. The removal is "a huge loss for my record company to absorb," he said.
--Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles and Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Alistair Bell