Last week saw Neil Young remove his back catalogue from Spotify in a row with the streaming service over Covid-19 misinformation espoused on their exclusive podcast The Joe Rogan Experience. Since then, Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren have joined their old friend in calling for their songs to be removed.
In a statement, Mitchell announced: “Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”
Bruce Springsteen guitarist, Nils Lofgren also pulled his solo material, stating: “A few days ago, my wife Amy and I became aware of Neil and Daryl [Hannah] standing with hundreds of health care professionals, scientists, doctors and nurses in calling out Spotify for promoting lies and misinformation that are hurting and killing people.”
The musician later added: “We encourage all musicians, artists and music lovers everywhere, to stand with us all, and cut ties with Spotify. Music is our planet’s sacred weapon, uniting and healing billions of souls every day. Pick up your sword and start swinging.”
Young himself had earlier written: “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE [Joe Rogan Experience], which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence.”
Adding: “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy. 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.”
At the time, Spotify responded that they were sad to see Young go and that they would welcome his return. However, in the subsequent backlash and plummeting stock price, the streaming giant has revealed that it will not issue a Covid-19 misinformation warning before any applicable content.
Whether this will be enough to stop other musicians from accepting a 60% cut in their streaming incomes and pursuing a mass exodus remains to be seen.