Friday, December 2, 2022

Crosby, Stills & Nash join Spotify after Joe Rogan protest

Crosby, Stills & Nash are back on Spotify in an apparent end to the classic rockers’ five-month protest of controversial podcaster Joe Rogan.

The folk rockers, who pulled their library of songs off of the streaming platform in solidarity with ex-band member Neil Young, are reportedly planning to donate their earnings from streams to charities helping those infected with COVID-19, according to Billboard.

Young, the Canadian-American grunge rocker, removed his catalog off of Spotify earlier this year after the Sweden-based streaming company refused his demand to fire Rogan over alleged “disinformation” related to COVID-19 vaccines.

“They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” Young wrote in a letter to his record company’s parent, Warner Records.

Rogan, who signed a $200 million exclusive licensing agreement with Spotify in May 2020, is one of the platform’s most listened-to podcasts, with an estimated audience of some 11 million frequent listeners.

The “Rockin’ in the Free World” hitmaker remains off of Spotify and unavailable to its 182 million paid subscribers as of Monday.

The rockers took their music off of the streaming platform earlier this year in protest by controversial podcaster Joe Rogan.
Getty Images

Shortly after Young pulled his music off of Spotify, his former bandmates Graham Nash, Stephen Stills and David Crosby released a statement in February which read: “We support Neil and we agree with him that there is dangerous disinformation being aired on Spotify’s Joe Rogan podcast .”

“While we always value alternate points of view, knowingly spreading disinformation during this global pandemic has deadly consequences,” the band’s statement read.

“Until real action is taken to show that a concern for humanity must be balanced with commerce, we don’t want our music — or the music we made together — to be on the same platform.”

Spotify agreed to take down Young’s music, saying in a statement: “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.”

The company added: “We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”

In late January, Neil Young ordered his record company to pull his library off of Spotify.
In late January, Neil Young ordered his record company to pull his library off of Spotify.
Getty Images for SXSW

Other rock stars including Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren also pulled their music from Spotify.

Rogan, who frequently interviewed critics of the COVID-19 vaccine and lockdown-related measures aimed at mitigating the spread of the coronavirus, responded by apologizing and pledging to have more balanced views on his podcast.

“If I p—d you off, I’m sorry,” the outspoken UFC commentator said in a nearly 10-minute video on Instagram that was posted in late January.

“I’m not trying to promote misinformation. I’m not trying to be controversial,” he insisted of his record-breaking podcast that feels like “some out-of-control juggernaut that I barely have control of.”

“I’ve never tried to do anything with this podcast other than just talk to people and have interesting conversations,” he said of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which “started off is just f—ing around with my friends.”

Rogan, the host of the wildly popular "Joe Rogan Experience" podcast, has interviewed skeptics of the COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-related lockdown measures.
Rogan, the host of the wildly popular “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, has interviewed skeptics of the COVID-19 vaccine and COVID-related lockdown measures.
Getty Images

Rogan then lamented the fact that famous rockers were fleeing the platform.

“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 been a Neil Young fan,” he said.

Rogan also noted that he also spoke to medical officials who have more mainstream-friendly views such as CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Dr. Michael Osterholm, a member of President Biden’s COVID-19 advisory board.

“Do I get things wrong? Absolutely. I get things wrong, but I try to correct them,” he insisted.


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