Earlier this month, hundreds of scientists and medical professionals asked Spotify to address COVID misinformation on its platform, sparked by comments made on its original podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience.
Young then pulled his music from the platform, sparking a protest against the misinformation being spread about the virus on Rogan’s Spotify original podcast. The likes of Joni Mitchell and Crazy Horse member Nils Lofgren then followed his decision.
Taking to Twitter on Friday (January 28), Young plugged Amazon Music to his followers, offering them free access for four months.
“Amazon has been leading the pack in bringing Hi-Res audio to the masses, and it’s a great place to enjoy my entire catalog in the highest quality available,” he wrote.
“Thanks also to Apple Music (I LOVE APPLE) and Qobuz for sticking with my High Res music.”
— Neil Young Archives (@NeilYoungNYA) January 28, 2022
Yesterday (January 30), it was reported that Spotify had lost more than $2billion (£1.5b) in market value after Young removed his music from the site. “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading false information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” Young had explained at the time. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”
Other public figures have also weighed in on the debate, with Catherine Mayer – the widow of Gang Of Four‘s Andy Gill – criticising Spotify for platforming anti-vax sentiments. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, meanwhile, said in a new statement that they had expressed concerns about misinformation to Spotify last year. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have a multi-year partnership with Spotify through their company, Archewell Audio.
Spotify has also confirmed that it will be adding COVID content advisories to all relevant podcast episodes.
He told fans: “I don’t always get it right. I will do my best to try to balance out these more controversial viewpoints with other people perspectives so we can maybe find a better point of view.
Admitting that it is a “strange responsibility to have this many views and listeners,” he promised “to do my best in the future to balance things out.”
Of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell’s departure from Spotify, Rogan added: “I’m very sorry that they feel that way. I most certainly don’t want that. I’m a Neil Young fan, I’ve always have been a Neil Young fan.”