Neil Young reportedly demanded Spotify remove his music over what he said was coronavirus vaccine misinformation spread on the streaming platform by star podcaster Joe Rogan, according to Rolling Stone.
It’s the latest public pushback against Rogan, who hosts Spotify’s most popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Spotify acquired the exclusive streaming rights to the show in 2020 in a deal reportedly worth more than $100 million.
Young posted an open letter to his management and record label on his website, Rolling Stone said, calling for a swift response. The letter has since been deleted. CNBC has not seen the original post and Young’s music is still available on Spotify.
“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines–potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” Young’s letter reportedly said.
“With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence. Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy,” he added. “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform…They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Rogan’s podcast has continued to shoot up on the charts, but several health experts and big names have been calling on Spotify to address its dangerous coronavirus content. Most recently, 270 doctors and health professionals wrote an open letter to the streaming giant asking it to take action on the podcast, accusing the company of broadcasting misinformation.
“By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals,” the health professionals’ letter said.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert, previously called Rogan “incorrect” for saying young people do not need to be vaccinated early last year.
Spokespeople for Young, Spotify and Young’s label, Warner Records, did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.