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What's Happening Between Neil Young and Spotify

Spotify will no longer house Neil Young's music, but they're just doing what was asked.

Spotify, the world's largest music streaming service provider with over 381 million monthly active users, is currently under fire from Canadian-American singer Neil Young. He has decided to pull his music from the streaming service after Joe Rogan, host of Spotify's biggest podcast, spread misinformation about COVID. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” Young says in an open letter to Spotify.

Neil Young is known to be spontaneous. He has abandoned tours suddenly telling his drivers to take him elsewhere; randomly deciding to not release complete albums; and completely removing the work of partners Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (CSNY) from master tapes of his songs just before releasing them to the public all in order to follow his muse. But this decision seems very thought out.

Young published an open letter to Spotify earlier this week demanding them to take his music off the platform after podcast host Joe Rogan said that healthy young people don’t need the vaccine. “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” Young wrote. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.” (Rolling Stone originally reported the text of the post.)

Neil Young is known for making political stands with and through his music. He is the writer of Ohio, a response to the Kent State Massacre. He piloted the CSNY Freedom of Speech tour with a setlist jam-packed with anti-Bush protest songs- leading audiences in red states to walk out. He also threatened to pull out of a show in Hyde Park with Bob Dylan unless the promoters refused to work with Barclays, a sponsor who Young called "a fossil fuel funding entity."

The music streaming platform says that Rogan didn't break any rules. “We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators,” a Spotify spokesman said in a statement to The Washington Post. "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."

Photo: Asa Mathat/AllThingsD

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