Joni Mitchell Removing Music From Spotify in Solidarity With Neil Young

    Joni Mitchell is pulling her entire catalog from Spotify, in solidarity with Neil Young’s decision to do the same earlier this week. Like Young, Mitchell said she’s leaving the streaming platform over concerns about vaccine misinformation on Joe Rogan’s popular, Spotify-exclusive podcast The Joe Rogan Experience.

    In a statement posted to her official website yesterday, the singer-songwriter wrote: “I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify. Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

    To accompany her note, Mitchell also republished a link to an open letter by a group of 270 doctors, scientists, professors, and other medical professionals calling for Spotify to implement a more rigorous misinformation policy.

    Young requested the removal of his work a few days ago in a since-deleted post on his website. “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence,” it read in part. “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.” In a subsequent note posted on Friday, Young directed his fans to a link that offers four months free of Amazon Music Unlimited (new Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers typically only get a 30-day free trial). He also praised Apple Music and Qobuz on social media for “sticking with my High Res music.”

    Spotify officially removed Young’s music on Wednesday, stating: “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-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.”

    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis
    Konstantinos Pappis is a writer, journalist, and music editor at Our Culture. His work has also appeared in Pitchfork, GIGsoup, and other publications. He currently lives in Athens, Greece.

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