Neil Young, 78, sparks fury with Spotify U-turn two years after Joe Rogan vaccine row: 'Hypocrite!'

Neil Young

Neil Young has decided to put his music back on Spotify

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 14/03/2024

- 09:19

Updated: 14/03/2024

- 10:25

The singer removed his music from the streaming service after it landed the rights to Joe Rogan's podcast

Neil Young has decided it's time to return to Spotify after initially removing his music from the streamer back in 2022.

The Harvest Moon hitmaker released an open letter at the time explaining his decision as he accused the Joe Rogan Experience of spreading "fake information about vaccines" after Spotify had bought the rights to release the podcast.

During the time Spotify served as the exclusive rights holder for the JRE podcast, Young had kept his music on other streamers but last month, it was confirmed comedian Rogan would be able to release his podcast on other platforms again.

With Rogan's podcast returning across the breadth of streamers, Young has U-turned on his stance as he fears it would damage him financially to boycott every streamer Rogan now appears on.

He penned on his website: "Spotify, the #1 streamer of low res music in the world - Spotify where you get less quality than we made, will now be home of my music again.

"My decision comes as music services Apple and Amazon have started serving the same disinformation podcast I had opposed at Spotify.

Joe Rogan was the man that prompted Neil Young to leave Spotify


"I cannot leave Apple and Amazon, like I did Spotify, because my music would have very little streaming outlet to music lovers at all, so I have returned to Spotify, in since hopes that Spotify sound quality will improve and people will be able to hear and feel all the music as we made it.

"Qobuz and Tidal, where my music is presented, are High res as well.

"I hope all of you millions of Spotify users enjoy my songs! They will now all be there for you except for the full sound we created.

"Hopefully, Spotify will turn to hi res as the answer and serve all the music to everyone. Spotify you can do it! Really be #1 in all ways. You have the music and the listeners!!! Start with a limited hi res tier and build from there. Thanks for the support folks! Neil."

Following the release of Young's statement, several music lovers took to social media to slam the singer for seemingly putting financial gain rather than stand by his laurels, no matter how controversial.

"Just so we’re clear on this… Neil Young pulled his music from Spotify over the seriousness of @joerogan spreading 'dangerous misinformation' … but now that this 'dangerous misinformation' is on even more platforms Young has decided to, no, not to pull his music from the other platforms… but to just put his music back on Spotify. Way to stick to your principles and show ‘em you rebel @NeilYoungNYA. Was an idiot move to begin with," one person criticised on X, formerly Twitter.

Another similarly pointed out the hypocrisy in Young's behaviour: "Neil Young embarrassed himself & by extension, Canada, his native country, with his pretentious extortion attempt to censor the @JRE_Clips Joe Rogan Experience by withdrawing his music from @Spotify.

"Returning now to Spotify, Neil is the hypocrite as well as an embarrassment."

Neil Young

Neil Young is putting his music back on Spotify


The backlash kept coming as a third waded into the debate: "Shocking @Neilyoung like the rest of Hollywood/entertainment is a conviction-less c**k more worried about career than principle."

Others were quick to simply express their excitement at Young's return, including one fan who penned: "NEIL YOUNG COMING BACK TO SPOTIFY YIPPEEEEE YIPPEEEEEEEEEE." (sic)

Rogan is yet to publicly respond to Young's U-turn but did say at the time of his withdrawal from the platform that he was "not trying to promote misinformation" or "be controversial".

The comedian has always insisted his podcast was merely "to just talk to people... because I’m not a doctor, I’m not a scientist."

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