Neil Young knocks Spotify after it sides with Joe Rogan: 'I sound better everywhere else'

The Hill
The Hill

Neil Young is knocking Spotify after it sided with Joe Rogan and pulled his music from their service after he gave it an ultimatum on coronavirus misinformation, saying he sounds "better everywhere else" anyway.

"I have never been in favor of censorship,” the “Rockin’ in the Free World” songwriter said in a statement posted Friday on his website.

“Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information,” the 76-year-old musician added.

Young’s words mark his first public comments in what’s become a weeklong saga, since Spotify said Wednesday it was in the process of removing his songs following an ultimatum over what he called “fake information” regarding COVID-19 vaccines.

“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both,” Young wrote in a letter earlier this week to his record label and management team.

“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 said of comments made by the controversial podcast host on his show streamed by Spotify, “The Joe Rogan Experience.”

Rogan’s show reportedly attracts a massive audience, with an estimated 11 million listeners per episode.

A Spotify spokesperson said in a Wednesday statement that the company had a responsibility to balance “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,” the statement said. “We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”

A Spotify rep didn’t immediately return ITK’s request for comment about Young’s latest remarks.

In his Friday statement, Young said he is “happy and proud to stand in solidarity with the front line health care workers who risk their lives every day to help others.”

He also mocked the “shitty, degraded, neutered” sound quality of Spotify, claiming it sells customers “downgraded music” to meet streaming demands.

“I support free speech,” Young said, adding, “As an unexpected bonus, I sound better everywhere else.”

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