Faced with ultimatum, Spotify chooses Joe Rogan over singer Neil Young

Popular podcaster Joe Rogan has been hounded by those on the left for allegedly spreading “misinformation” about the COVID-19 pandemic — and now, some leftists are going after streaming service Spotify for giving Rogan a platform to do so.

Aged rocker Neil Young even went so far as to issue a “him or me” ultimatum to Spotify, but that bid backfired this week when Spotify opted to stand behind Rogan. Now, The Hill reports that Young has pulled his music from the platform.

Young issues an ultimatum

It was on Monday that Neil Young publicized a letter — which he has since deleted — written to his management team and record label about his concerns with regard to Spotify and Joe Rogan’s use of the platform to spread what he called “fake information” about the coronavirus.

“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, according to Rolling Stone. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”

The musician went on:

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.

“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,” Young added. “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”

Spotify picks Rogan over Young

By Wednesday, Spotify had made its decision to stick with the top-rated podcast host over the singer who was once popular — that is, several decades ago.

“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 spokesperson said, according to The Hill.

“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 spokesperson added. “We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”

It all comes down to revenue

In a report on the topic, tech site The Verge explained that Spotify’s decision isn’t all that hard to understand: It all comes down to money. Reportedly, Spotify can’t really afford to lose Rogan, while Young leaving the platform doesn’t amount to much of a loss, at all.

Rogan, who signed an exclusive $100 million deal with Spotify in 2020, has brought millions of new users to the platform and reportedly draws upwards of $1 million per ad in revenue generated for the service by his podcast. In contrast, because of licensing agreements, Spotify actually loses a little bit of money each time a Neil Young song is streamed.

With that, it seems the “choice” between Rogan and Young, strictly from a business perspective, was really no choice at all.

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