Neil Young was the first, but it was always likely at that point, others would follow.
On Friday (January 28), Joni Mitchell announced she would also be taking her music off Spotify, citing the streaming platform’s potential for misinformation.
In a letter on her website, Mitchell wrote: “I stand with Neil.”
“I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify,” she added. “Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”
Mitchell also added a link to the open letter that hundreds of science and medical professionals wrote to Spotify, citing popular podcaster Joe Rogan, whose show earns 10-11 million listeners each episode. See that entire letter HERE (with all 270 signatures).
While Mitchell is the first to follow Young by leaving Spotify, others have already shown solidarity, including Peter Frampton and David Crosby.
It’s impossible not to wonder: who else will be next? And will those who follow Young and Mitchell be those in their peer group or newer artists?
On Thursday (Jan. 27), two days after Young announced his ultimatum to the streaming giant, Spotify went with Joe Rogan.
Young published (and then took down) a letter demanding that Spotify choose either him or popular podcaster Joe Rogan, who Young claims is spouting misinformation about COVID-19, its effects, and the vaccine. Spotify is acquiescing to Young’s demands.
A Spotify spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter: “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. We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
In his letter, Young wrote, “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. … They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
In a new second letter, Young wrote that the loss of streams would be “a huge loss for [his] record company to absorb” but that he “could not continue to support Spotify’s life-threatening misinformation to the music-loving public.”
Courtesy of Condé Nast Morrison Hotel Gallery Collection