After legendary songwriter and performer Neil Young gave his now infamous ultimatum to Spotify, telling the streaming company it was either him or Joe Rogan, a famous podcaster who the platform paid $200 million for his podcast that, many claim, spews misinformation and racism, Spotify quickly chose Rogan.
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That didn’t sit well with many, including famed artists Joni Mitchell, India.Arie and more, including Young’s former bandmate, David Crosby.
Speaking to Stereogum in a recent interview, Crosby gave more clarity about his reason for backing Young and for himself, taking his music off Spotify, as Young, Mitchell, and others have, as well.
“With me, you have to understand—I don’t like Spotify. I don’t like any of the streamers, because they don’t pay us properly,” said Crosby. “Their proportion is wrong. They’re making billions with a b and they’re paying out pennies with a p. That’s not OK. It’s not OK in that it took away half my income, and it’s not OK in that, especially, it makes it impossibly difficult for young people to make it in the business. It doesn’t pay them anything. It’s wrong. I don’t like Spotify on purpose because of that.”
Not only does Crosby dislike the payout from Spotify and other streaming services, he thinks the sound quality the service offers is bad.
“I don’t like their quality level either,” he added. “They bum up the signal pretty badly. But they and all the other streaming services are ripping us off. They’re quite happy with it. They have no intention of changing it.”
Just because streaming is the way of the future (and present), Crosby said he doesn’t have to acquiesce.
“It isn’t right and I don’t have to shut up and pretend that it’s right because I want their money,” he said. “I don’t want their money. I want what I had. I’m not willing to lick their boots because I need their pitiful $1.57 they’re paying me. They’re not doing the right thing, and in the long run, it will get them. In some kind of karmic thing, it’s going to come around and crush them.”
On Rogan, Crosby said he isn’t a fan, but he respects his right to say whatever he likes. Just as Crosby has the right to protest and remove his work.
“Now besides that, we come to Joe Rogan. Here’s how I feel about it. I think Joe Rogan is… eh, not real impressive,” he said. “But I think he has a right to spew his garbage. He has a right to do it. I think Spotify has a right to put him up there. I absolutely will fight for their right to do that. I have a right to not be associated with it.”
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