Madison Bloom – Pitchfork, January 26, 2022
Earlier this week, Neil Young briefly posted an open letter to his website urging his record label and management to scrub his music from Spotify, accusing the platform of “spreading fake information about vaccines” by hosting The Joe Rogan Experience. Now, Spotify is pulling Young’s work from streaming, according to a statement from a Spotify spokesperson. As of this writing, some of Young’s albums remain on Spotify. Pitchfork has reached out to representatives for Neil Young for comment.
“We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users,” the spokesperson stated. “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. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
Young posted a new letter on his website today (January 26) following Spotify’s statement. “Spotify has recently become a very damaging force via its public misinformation and lies about COVID,” Young wrote. He added:
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 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.
All my music is available on Spotify, being sold to these young people, people who believe what they are hearing because it is on Spotify, and people like me are supporting Spotify by presenting my music there. I realized I could not continue to support Spotify life threatening misinformation to the music loving public… [+]