Earlier this week, Canadian rock star and noted grump Neil Young laid down an ultimatum to Spotify – remove Joe Rogan’s podcast or remove my music catalog.
Well, in perhaps the least surprising news of all time, Spotify told Young to stick to his “Old Ways” and agreed to his request by removing Young from the service. Before the removal, Young had 2.4 million followers and over six million monthly listeners. And, The Joe Rogan Experience has an estimated 11 million listeners per episode.
Spotify to Take Down Neil Young’s Music After His Joe Rogan Ultimatum – WSJ https://t.co/QXrYXL4Oun
— Sam (@SamSullivan) January 26, 2022
“We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify,” the service added, “but hope to welcome him back soon.”
Spotify, This Note’s For You
Did Neil Young, who hasn’t had a good album since 1996’s Broken Arrow* ( if we’re being generous), actually think Spotify would pick his music over their most popular podcast host? Probably not.
The decision, in my opinion, probably lies in Young’s long-standing hatred of digital versions of his music. Young hated what digitization did to his song so much that he invested and heavily promoted Pono, a doomed hardware and music service that delivered uncompressed versions of songs.
“My goal is to try and rescue the art form that I’ve been practising for the past 50 years. We live in the digital age, and unfortunately, it’s degrading our music, not improving.”
“Old Man, Take A Look At Your Life”
Neil Young is an infamously petty musician. He was so displeased with his time at Geffen reportedly that he made three concept albums out of spite and almost ended up in court over it. Young is certainly a man of conviction and values. I genuinely believe he didn’t want his music associated with Joe Rogan.
Joetez, The Killer
Young, a noted environmentalist and progressive, is trying to vaccinate two birds with one jab. He wants his music off the digital platform, but he also wants to go after Rogan for his supposed promotion of COVID-19 misinformation.
What is funny here is that I am confident Rogan would love to have Neil Young on his podcast, and it would be a fun listen.
Though Young is grumpy, aloof, a bit of a hermit, and notoriously bad at interviews, I get the feeling Rogan could coax old “Shakey” out of his husk with a bit of um…”Medicine.”
Naturally, there was some mixed reaction to the news of Young’s departure.
Joe Rogan would have a chat or debate with Neil Young.
Neil Young would probably decline.
Neil wants to censor Joe Rogan without having to face him.
Neil is an authoritarian.
Don’t be like Neil.
— An0maly (@LegendaryEnergy) January 26, 2022
Some of these people are downright delusional. Rogan makes Spotify millions, and musicians make millions from Spotify.
Who else thinks it would be AMAZING for Taylor Swift to punish Spotify by DITCHING them for choosing Joe Rogan’s Covid lies over Neil Young’s music? ?️
RT so @taylorswift13 hears you!
— CALL TO ACTIVISM (@CalltoActivism) January 27, 2022
I’m not under the delusion that Neil Young is going to change Spotify’s mind. But what if other artists follow suit? What if the choice isn’t “Neil Young or Joe Rogan” but “Music or Propaganda?” https://t.co/bY4MEcoLJ0
— Machine Pun Kelly (@KellyScaletta) January 25, 2022
What do you think of all the controversy? Let us know in the comments below.
*and if we’re being ungenerous, he hasn’t had a good album since Zuma.