If you still want to listen to classic hits like ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ or ‘Heart of Gold’ via Spotify, you have to act quickly. The streaming service is in the process of removing these and all other songs by Neil Young after the Canadian singer-songwriter (76) announced on Monday that he does not want to distribute his music through the platform as long as podcasts can be found here that disinformation about the corona virus and the coronavirus. distributing vaccines.
Young takes offense at the “Joe Rogan Experience,” currently by far the country’s most popular podcast in the United States. Joe Rogan, a libertarian ex-comedian and martial arts commentator, receives a wide variety of guests in his studio in the Texas capital Austin for two- to three-hour marathon interviews. He records several a week and on average they each attract eleven million listeners.
One of Rogan’s most listened-to episodes was the one with Robert Malone late last year. This controversial doctor states that he was one of the first to experiment with mRNA vaccines decades ago. In the pandemic, he emerged as a fierce opponent of the technology that has been used in the corona vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Following his criticism, Malone has been embraced as a heroic “whistleblower” by the global antivax movement.
Young published an open letter on Monday – now removed from his site – in which he called on Spotify to take a tougher line against disinformation. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.” In another letter, which is still online, he states that “unfactual, misleading and false Covid information” is mainly heard by “24-year-olds, who are impressionable and easily swayed to the wrong side of the truth”.
They can have Rogan or Young. Not both
Young isn’t the first to complain about Spotify. Doctors previously drafted a petition to similar effect. And two years ago, Spotify employees internally complained that Rogan was recording what they believe to be a “transphobic” podcast with Abigail Shrier, author of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters.
Also read: Misinformation in podcast apps
The recurring fuss around Rogan poses a dilemma for Spotify. The relatively young audio genre podcast is indispensable for Spotify to continue to grow, but it also contains more opinionated and controversial information than the average pop song. This puts the streaming giant under pressure to take stricter action against disinformation, just like social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Rogan was contracted by Spotify for more than 100 million dollars in 2020 to offer his podcast exclusively through the service. In his own words, he was then promised full editorial independence. However, since Rogan transferred his entire podcast archive to Spotify in May 2020, the company has quietly removed a few dozen episodes, the presenter acknowledged last year: “There were a few they didn’t want.” The episode with Doctor Malone was still on the platform on Thursday.