Neil Young Is Begrudgingly Returning to Spotify After Joe Rogan Boycott

Nils Meilvang/Scanpix Denmark via Reuters
Nils Meilvang/Scanpix Denmark via Reuters

Neil Young bitterly announced Tuesday that his music would once again be available on Spotify, ending his years-long boycott of the platform over its refusal to take down Joe Rogan’s podcast.

The “Heart of Gold” songwriter demanded in early 2022 that his work be scrubbed from Spotify after being angered about “fake information about vaccines” being spread on the platform, specifically criticizing The Joe Rogan Experience for airing bogus claims. Spotify was once the exclusive streamer of Rogan’s show, but the company recently signed a new deal reportedly worth $250 million that will make the podcast available on other streaming platforms too.

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In a message to fans on The Neil Young Archives, the singer did not name Rogan but said his decision to return to Spotify “comes as music services Apple and Amazon started serving the same disinformation podcast features I had opposed at SPOTIFY.”

“I cannot just leave Apple and Amazon, like I did Spotify, because my music would have very little streaming outlet to music lovers at all, so I have returned to Spotify,” he wrote.

Young, a longtime evangelist for high-resolution audio formats, nevertheless took some shots at the Swedish streaming giant, calling it “the #1 streamer of low res music in the world” where users “get less quality than we made.” He added that he was returning to Spotify “in sincere hopes that Spotify sound quality will improve and people will be able to hear and feel all the music as we made it.”

When Young first pulled his music from the site, he wrote an open letter that was later deleted saying Spotify was “potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them.”

In response, Rogan released an Instagram video saying his podcast had been “accused of spreading dangerous information” and said he tried to host guests with differing opinions. Addressing the boycott, Rogan said he’s “always been a Neil Young fan” and said he was “very sorry” to Spotify that they were “taking so much heat” as a result of his show.

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