Neil Young’s music quietly returns to Spotify amid Joe Rogan protest

FOX Business Headlines 2/15

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Neil Young’s music has quietly returned to Spotify after the rocker announced last month that he was removing his catalog from the streaming platform.

The 76-year-old ignited a protest against Spotify for airing an episode from Joe Rogan’s podcast that featured Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease specialist who has been banned from Twitter for spreading COVID misinformation.

Reps for Young, as well as Spotify, didn’t immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment. A spokesperson from Warner Bros. Records told FOX Business "no comment or statement."

Last month, the veteran star fired off a public missive to his management, demanding that they remove his music from Spotify in protest of Rogan, 54, spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 vaccine on his popular podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience."


Neil Young said that many of Spotify’s listeners are hearing misleading information about COVID. They’re young, “impressionable and easy to swing to the wrong side of the truth,” he said. (Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports   |   Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images / Getty Images)

But the letter soon disappeared from view on Young’s website and fans were still able to hear "Heart of Gold," "Rockin’ in the Free World" and other Young hits. According to Young’s home page, he had more than six million monthly listeners.

In his letter, Young made the request because Spotify "is spreading false information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation," according to Rolling Stone.

Young said Spotify "can have Rogan or Young. Not both."

In response, Spotify said in a statement that it regretted Young’s decision "but hope to welcome him back soon." It also noted that "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."


Spotify reportedly spent $100 million to become the sole distributor of ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’. (Photo by Vivian Zink/Syfy/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images / Getty Images)

While the request was granted, no specific date was provided as to when Young’s music would be removed from Spotify.

The company shared they have a team of experts that reviews content, and it’s removed if the information presented can cause harm or pose a direct threat to public health. False suggestions that injecting bleach could fight the virus, that COVID-19 wasn’t real or that vaccines could be deadly were among those removed from the platform.

Young had since called on other artists to support him.

"When I left Spotify, I felt better," Young previously wrote on his website.


Neil Young, 76, was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1975. (Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP / AP Newsroom)

"Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information," he shared. "I am happy and proud to stand in solidarity with the front-line health care workers who risk their lives every day to help others."

Spotify reportedly spent $100 million to become the sole distributor of "The Joe Rogan Experience." He is one of their biggest stars.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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