Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell is pulling her music from Spotify in protest against the company’s backing of podcaster Joe Rogan.
Mitchell wrote on her website Friday that, “Irresponsible people are spreading lie that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”
Spotify said it would remove Neil Young’s music after the musician threatened to boycott the site over ‘COVID misinformation.’
The rock musician said he was not happy with how Spotify’s policies on “fake information” about vaccines. That’s why he asked that the platform remove his catalog, which may cost him 60% of his revenue.
His problem? Joe Rogan’s wildly popular podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience. In a since-deleted letter, he accused Rogan of spreading fake information about vaccines.
“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.”
The move comes after Rogan interviewed the controversial Dr. Robert Malone. Malone was a researcher involved in the early work on mRNA vaccines. However, he has since become a critic of COVID vaccines.
In a recent blog post, Young explained his views in detail. “Spotify has recently become a very damaging force via its public misinformation and lies about COVID,” Young wrote.
“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,” Young added.
“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,” he said.
Spotify’s Rogan Deal
“We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon,” Spotify’s spokesperson said.
“We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users, with that comes great responsibility in balancing both safeties for listeners and freedom for creators.”
According to the spokesman, Spotify has already removed more than 20,000 COVID-related podcast episodes.
However, they apparently did not think that they should remove Joe Rogan’s show, or any of his episodes.
“The Joe Rogan Experience” is wildly popular. While Spotify does not give out the info on viewership, the show gets an estimated 11 million downloads per episode. That’s more than any cable TV program, by a lot.
Moreover, Spotify currently has a $100 million deal with Rogan, to keep his podcast exclusive to the platform. Apparently, Rogan is making them too much money for them to kick him out.