Neil Young began removing his music from Spotify on Wednesday after the singer-songwriter delivered an ultimatum to the company to choose him or comedian and podcaster Joe Rogan, Variety reported.
Young took issue with statements made on Rogan's podcast ,''The Joe Rogan Experience,'' that were critical of COVID-19 vaccines. He posted a statement on his website Wednesday about the issue that did not overtly mention Rogan.
''Spotify has recently become a very damaging force via its public misinformation and lies about COVID,'' he wrote. ''I first learned of this problem by reading that 200-plus doctors had joined forces, taking on the dangerous, life-threatening COVID falsehoods found in Spotify programming.
''Most of the listeners hearing the factual, misleading, and false COVID information on Spotify are 24 years old, impressionable, and easy to swing to the wrong side of the truth.''
Spotify representatives responded quickly to Young, who initiated removing his own music himself, telling Variety that they ''regret Neil's decision.''
''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 representative from Spotify said. ''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.''
Young previously issued a now-deleted letter on Monday overtly mentioning Rogan and asking Spotify to remove his music themselves, Rolling Stone reported.
''With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE [Joe Rogan Experience], which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world's largest podcast and has tremendous influence,'' the musician wrote.
''I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. … They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,'' he added.
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