Neil Young is leaving Spotify. Two days after the 76-year-old musician penned a letter telling Spotify to choose between his music catalogue and Joe Rogan's podcast, the platform opted to side with Rogan and remove Young's music from its library. Young cited Rogan's "fake information about vaccines" amid the COVID-19 pandemic as the reason for his letter.
"We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users," a Spotify spokesperson told The Washington Post in a statement. "With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators."
"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," the statement added. "We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon."
According to Rolling Stone, in Young's since-deleted letter, he wrote that he was issuing the ultimatum "because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines -- potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them."
"I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform," Young wrote, per the outlet. "They can have Rogan or Young. Not both."
Rogan has not yet addressed Young's letter.
Young isn't the only person to raise concern about Spotify's The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Last month, more than 200 scientists, medical professionals, professors, and science communicators signed an open letter asking the platform to stop spreading Rogan's "baseless conspiracy theories."
"Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe Rogan has repeatedly spread misleading and false claims on his podcast, provoking distrust in science and medicine," the letter read in part. "... This is not only a scientific or medical concern; it is a sociological issue of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing this activity to thrive on its platform."