‘Delete Spotify’: Users cancel music service after Rogan-Young incident

FILE- This March 20, 2018, file photo shows the Spotify app on an iPad in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(NEXSTAR) – A day after music streaming giant Spotify removed Neil Young’s catalogue from its service, many users say they’re now leaving with the 76-year-old rocker. On Thursday, “Delete Spotify” trended on Twitter in response to the removal, which happened after Young gave the company an ultimatum: remove his music or remove Joe Rogan’s podcast.

“Spotify has recently become a very damaging force via its public misinformation and lies about COVID,” Young wrote in a letter on his website Wednesday. “Most of the listeners hearing the unfactual, misleading and false COVID information on Spotify are 24 years old, impressionable and easy to swing to the wrong side of the truth.”

Young said Spotify listeners are being misinformed and endangered, and that artists are supporting Spotify by hosting their music there. “I realized I could not continue to support Spotify’s life-threatening misinformation to the music-loving public.”

Two-hundred and seventy health care professionals also recently sent an open letter to Spotify urging the company to address misinformation on Rogan’s show. Among their complaints are Rogan’s promotion of the anti-parasitic ivermectin to treat COVID-19 (a use neither approved by the Federal Drug Administration nor backed by scientific evidence) and a guest appearance by the controversial vaccine skeptic Dr. Robert Malone.

“As the daughter of someone radicalized against the COVID vax by Joe Rogan et al: Bye, @Spotify,” tweeted political writer Sarah Reese Jones.

“Spotify is easily replaced by a multitude of other services that don’t promote mass death,” tweeted Carolyn Boyle. “Get rid of that thing if you don’t support killing people.”

Meanwhile, Federation of American Scientists epidemiologist Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding urged: “I’m deleting Spotify. You Should too. Vaccine disinformation is not cool.”

Some others say they’ve begun pressuring Joe Rogan Experience sponsors directly to address the issue.

“Spotify is a revenue stream for Joe Rogan,” tweeted attorney and Main Street Law founder Tristan Snell. “But a bigger one is advertisers. One example – @squarespace, which still currently advertises on Rogan’s podcast.”

On Thursday, SiriusXM announced the debut of “Neil Young Radio,” a channel dedicated solely to Young’s music. Apple Music also tweeted Thursday: “It’s always a good idea to stream @NeilYoungNYA.”

“The Joe Rogan Experience,” available exclusively on Spotify, was the most-listened to podcast in the world in 2021. Spotify previously said in a statement that it works to balance “safety for listeners and freedom for creators” and that it’s removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.