“I want you to let Spotify know immediately today that I want all of my music off their platform,“ Young wrote to his managers in a letter initially posted on his website on Monday. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
The since-deleted letter said the Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is actively canceling all of his music availability on Spotify because the company “is spreading false information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them.”
Young’s music remained on Spotify as of early Tuesday.
Spotify’s Neil Young page said he has more than 6 million monthly listeners, and his top three songs combined have received more than half a billion listens on the service.
Rogan claims to have 200 million listeners, a massive audience that led to a $100 million payday from Spotify when the company signed him to an exclusive multiyear contract in 2020. Since then, he’s used the platform to falsely suggest that young, healthy people don’t need to be vaccinated, then later called himself a “fucking moron” and “not a respected source of information.”
However, Rogan’s also doubled down by promoting more misinformation and inviting on guests who do the same.
Earlier this month, 270 scientists, doctors, health care workers and professors signed an open letter slamming Rogan as “a menace to public health” and calling on Spotify to establish a misinformation policy.
Young has gone in the opposite direction of Rogan. While many performers have returned to the road, he hasn’t. Young even cancelled a planned appearance at Farm Aid, which he cofounded, over COVID-19 concerns last year.
“I don’t want to let anybody down, but still can’t shake the feeling that it might not be safe for everyone,” Young wrote on his website at the time, adding:
“All you people who can’t go to a concert because you still don’t feel safe, I stand with you. I don’t want you to see me playing and think it’s safe now. I don’t want to play until you feel safe, and it is indeed, safe. My soul tells me it would be wrong to risk having anyone die because they wanted to hear music and be with friends.”
Last month, Young said he won’t be touring anytime soon for the same reason.
“I don’t care if I’m the only one who doesn’t do it,” he told Howard Stern.
Young’s newest album, “Barn” debuted last month on most streaming services, but if his letter is any indication, it may not be on Spotify much longer. He also released a documentary about the album on YouTube: