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The Joe Rogan v Neil Young furore reveals Spotify’s new priority: naked capitalism

By Eamonn Forde

28 Jan 2022 · 3 min read

Neil Young this week issued Spotify with a blunt ultimatum: it’s me or Joe Rogan. The Canadian-American musician criticised its exclusive hosting of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast in a letter to his manager and record label published online, which asked his music be removed from the streaming service. Spotify chose Rogan, removing Young’s entire back catalogue.

Young’s objections were based on what he saw as “life-threatening Covid misinformation” being pushed by Rogan. This claim was supported in a letter sent to the streaming service earlier this month, signed by 270 medical and scientific professionals who called for Spotify to stop spreading Rogan’s unfounded point of view. Young had the courage of his convictions – and the backing of his long-term label Reprise Records (part of Warner Music Group), because, as he said in a statement on his website, removing his music would mean “losing 60% of my worldwide streaming income in the name of Truth”.

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