Boycott Spotify movement gains steam in response to Neil Young removal

Users are deleting the platform after it removed the ‘Harvest Moon’ singer from its streaming service

Jade Bremner
Friday 28 January 2022 16:03
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A day after Spotify removed Neil Young’s music from its site, a movement has started to boycott the streaming company.

The 76-year-old folk-rock singer gave the music company an ultimatum – either remove Joe Rogan’s podcast or remove his music.

“They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” wrote the singer in an open letter published on his website on Wednesday, calling out Mr Rogan’s programme for misinformation.

“I realised I could not continue to support Spotify’s life-threatening misinformation to the music-loving public,” he continued.

More than 250 doctors and scientists also shared their concerns about the misinformation on Joe Rogan’s podcast, which Spotify states is its “number-one podcast”.

In an open letter, the experts stated that the Joe Rogan Experience “has a concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals.”

Social media users are now posting about their plans to delete the world’s biggest music streaming service.

“I stand with Neil Young, with civility, with decency, with freedom of speech. I don’t stand with anti-vaxxers spreading lies. I’ve been a subscriber for years but I refuse to help pay Joe Rogan’s salary,” said one user.

“We are three years into a pandemic, millions are dead and Spotify is supporting Joe Rogan – perhaps the single biggest superspreader of Covid misinformation in the [world emoji] . Coz he brings in the [money emoji]. I’m cancelling my membership and you should too. #BoycottSpotify,” wrote another, with a hashtag that has been shared thousands of times.

“Spotify is easily replaced by a multitude of other services that don’t promote mass death,” tweeted another person, “Get rid of that thing if you don’t support killing people.”

Advertisers on Joe Rogan’s podcast are also being pressured by users too. “Spotify is a revenue stream for Joe Rogan,” tweeted an attorney. “But a bigger one is advertisers. One example – @squarespace, which still currently advertises on Rogan’s podcast.”

On Thursday, SiriusXM revived “Neil Young Radio”, which plays the folk-rock artist’s songs and shares stories. “Now seems like a good time to let you know @NeilYoungNYA Radio is back on SiriusXM,” SiriusXM tweeted on Thursday.

Mr Young estimates that he is losing around 60 per cent of his streaming income with the move to ditch Spotify, but other streaming platforms are now circling him to provide his music to loyal followers.

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