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Spotify removing Neil Young catalogue after ultimatum over Joe Rogan

By Simon Druker
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Spotify removing Neil Young catalogue after ultimatum over Joe Rogan
Spotify said Wednesday it was removing all of Neil Young's music. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 26 (UPI) -- Spotify announced Wednesday the music streaming service will remove the catalog of two-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Neil Young.

The move comes a day after the 76-year-old Canadian-born icon issued an ultimatum demanding the service either remove his music or the podcast hosted by comedian and TV personality Joe Rogan.

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"We want all the world's music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. 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 since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil's decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon," Spotify said in a statement to The New York Times and The Hollywood Reporter.

In a letter to Spotify, which was briefly posted to his website, Young accused the service of spreading "false information about vaccines ... potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them."

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The Joe Rogan Experience airs exclusively on Spotify and is one of the most popular programs in the world. Spotify agreed to pay Rogan $100 million in 2020 for exclusive rights to his program. He also tested positive for COVID-19 last summer.

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The move is expected to cost Young around 60% of his streaming revenue, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Young said his music's removal from Spotify would be "a huge loss for [his] record company to absorb," according to the publication.

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He said that "could not continue to support Spotify's life-threatening misinformation to the music loving public."

An average of 11 million people listen to each episode of Rogan's podcast, on which he has repeatedly questioned the safety of COVID-19 vaccines.

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