Spotify now has an answer to Neil Young’s ultimatum after outrage over allegations that Joe Rogan is spreading COVID-19 vaccine misinformation. The Wall Street Journal reports that Spotify is in the midst of removing Young’s music from the streaming service. You should probably listen to Harvest one more time while you can.
Young has apparently been in talks with Spotify and his label Warner Records ever since posting an open letter threatening to pull his catalog. The artist actually made the formal request on Wednesday and the music is apparently set to disappear within “several hours.”
Talking to Engadget, Spotify said that it “regret[ted]” Young’s decision and hoped to have him back “soon.” It also defended its anti-misinformation practices, saying that it accepted a “great responsibility” in balancing both listener safety and creator freedom. The company said it had pulled over 20,000 podcast COVID-related episodes since the pandemic first began.
The company is believed to have paid over $100 million to get a multi-year distribution deal with Rogan. So naturally, Spotify might suffer financial and legal consequences if it pulls Rogan’s episodes. So it is best to tread lightly in these situations. CEO Daniel Ek also argued that his firm doesn’t have editorial responsibility.
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