Neil Young has never been one to shy away from voicing his opinion on the social issues of the day, and the rock icon has set his sights on a new target: Spotify and Joe Rogan.
In an open letter to his manager and record label, Young has requested this his music be removed from Spotify due to the Swedish streaming service promoting Joe Rogan, the podcast host who according to Young is spreading misformation about vaccines.
"With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, 'The Joe Rogan Experience' which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy."
"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 letter read.
The letter was addressed to his manager Frank Gironda and Tom Corson, the co-chairman and chief operating officer of Warner Records, which releases Young’s music.
Gironda confirmed that the letter was authentic, saying to The Daily Beast that "it’s something that’s really important to Neil. He’s very upset and we’re trying to figure this out right now".
'The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the world's most popular podcasts and Spotify paid $100 million to host the podcast exclusively on their service.
The podcast has come under fire in recent weeks for an episode about vaccines, which led to over 270 medical professionals to sign a letter requesting that Spotify flag content on their service as misleading.
The letter read "we are a coalition of scientists, medical professionals, professors, and science communicators spanning a wide range of fields such as microbiology, immunology, epidemiology, and neuroscience and we are calling on Spotify to take action against the mass-misinformation events which continue to occur on its platform."
"With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Though Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, the company presently has no misinformation policy."
The letter says "throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine."
Young himself has had a complicated relationship with Spotify, with the singer previously withholding his music from the service over its perceived "poor audio quality" but later relented, telling Rolling Stone in 2019 "I want people to hear my music no matter what they have to get through to do it."
Since starting his career in the 1960s, Young has recorded nearly 1200 songs and has collaborated with the likes of Pearl Jam, Crosby Stills and Nash, Joni Mitchell and Paul McCartney, and has sold nearly 90 million records over the course of his 50-year plus career.