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The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

The student news site of Bernards High School

The Crimson

Big name artists continue to remove music from Spotify


COVID-19 vaccine misinformation has been a big issue over the last year. There have been many big sources spreading rumors about the vaccine, but many point to one for a lot of the blame: Joe Rogan.

Rogan is a UFC commentator who hosts a podcast called “The Joe Rogan Experience”. Rogan and the podcast have been accused of spreading misinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, and have garnered much criticism due to it. In early 2022, a letter to Spotify, who has exclusively produced “The Joe Rogan Experience” since December 2020, titled “An Open Letter to Spotify: A call from the global scientific and medical communities to implement a misinformation policy” was written that asked for them to crack down on misinformation, and specifically pointed to an episode of JRE in which in had Dr. Robert Malone on to talk about what were called “baseless conspiracy theories” about the vaccine. The letter is signed by over 270 doctors.

Spotify has started to feel the consequences of this controversy, as big name artists have begun requesting their music be removed from the platform, or outright removing it entirely. First, and most notably among the artists, was Neil Young.

In his initial statement, Young said “Spotify has become a very damaging force via its public misinformation about COVID.” Later in the statement, Young stated that he would be removing his music from the streaming service, stating “I [realize] I [cannot] continue to support Spotify’s life threatening misinformation to the music loving public.”

Soon after, other artists started to pull their music. Joni Mitchell released a statement titled “I Stand With Neil Young” that stated “I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify. 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.” 

Other big name artists to pull their music include Graham Nash, Nils Lofgren, India.Arie, Failure, and David Crosby and Stephen Stills. The list could very well grow as time goes on.

Young has since released multiple more statements. In one of them, released on February 8th, he says “To the musicians and creators in this world, I say this: You must be able to find a better place than Spotify to be the home of your art.” In the same statement, he urged Spotify employees to leave the company, and that the real problem with the company is not Joe Rogan, but CEO Daniel Ek.

Spotify is one of the most used music streaming services in the world, and it is clear that the conflict will not resolve itself. Rogan’s deal with Spotify is worth roughly $100 million, and does not come to an end anytime soon. It is only a matter of time before more mainstream artists begin to pull their music from the platform that Spotify would take an even bigger hit from.

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