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Spotify pulling down Neil Young's music collection

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Spotify is removing the discography of Canadian rocker Neil Young after he demanded it be taken off the platform over concerns with its connection to vaccine misinformation and comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast.

In a statement to CTVNews.ca, a Spotify spokesperson said the company regrets Young’s decision “but hope[s] to welcome him back soon.”

“We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users,” the statement reads, “With that comes great responsibility in balancing 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.”

On Wednesday, Young posted a message on his website thanking his record label for their accommodation and thanking those who reached out in support of his stance.

“I have never felt so much love from so many,” he said.

Young also mentions that Spotify streams represent about 60 per cent of his streaming income, but other platforms present it in a higher quality.

“So much for art,” he said. “Now that this is in the past for me. Soon my music will live on in a better place.”

“I sincerely hope that other artists and record companies will move off the Spotify platform and stop supporting Spotify’s deadly misinformation about COVID.”

In March 2020, Spotify inked an exclusive contract with Rogan for US$100 million. His podcast, the Joe Rogan Experience, has a history of controversial topics and interview subjects, including members of the Proud Boys and COVID-19 vaccine skeptics.

Earlier this month, a collection of more than 250 scientists, doctors and nurses issued an open letter calling on Spotify to warn it’s listeners about misinformation and condemning the company for providing a platform for Rogan.

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