Neil Young returning to Spotify after boycott over Joe Rogan

The musician pulled his music from the streaming service in 2022 over alleged misinformation spread by Rogan's podcast on Spotify.
Combination photo shows musical artist Neil Young, left, and media personality Joe Rogan.
Posted at 3:38 PM, Mar 13, 2024

After a two-year standoff with Spotify over concerns regarding alleged misinformation on the platform, Neil Young has announced that his music will be returning to the streaming service.

The decision marks the end of a prolonged boycott initiated by Young in early 2022 over Spotify's exclusive deal to stream comedian Joe Rogan's widely popular podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience," which Young accused of spreading "fake information" about vaccines and the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time, the Canadian-American musician demanded that Spotify either take steps to fact-check the podcast or he would pull his entire music catalog from the platform. His departure came after a group of more than 250 scientists and doctors published an open letter also demanding that Spotify "take action against the mass-misinformation events which continue to occur on its platform."

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In a statement published to his website Tuesday, Young said his decision to return to the platform came because other music services like Apple and Amazon continue to serve the same disinformation that led to his boycott of Spotify in the first place. This comes a month after Spotify announced a new multi-year deal with Rogan that removes exclusivity rights on his podcast, meaning it can now appear on other streaming services. 

"I cannot just leave Apple and Amazon, like I did Spotify, because my music would have very little streaming outlet to music lovers at all," Young said. "So I have returned to Spotify." 

The "Heart of Gold" and "Harvest Moon" singer also took several digs at Spotify in his statement, referring to the platform as the "#1 streamer of low res music in the world." He urged Spotify to offer its listeners a high-resolution tier so that the platform can "Really be #1 in all ways."

Spotify has not publicly confirmed the return of Young's music to the platform.