Spotify’s market value dropped more than $2 billion in the last few days after Neil Young pulled his music over Joe Rogan’s podcast. Shares have tumbled around 12% from where it closed last week.
Young had pulled his songs from the music platform on Wednesday because, he said, Spotify had become “a very damaging force” in spreading misinformation about COVID. Young referred to an open letter from medical professionals earlier this month that urged Spotify to crack down on COVID misinformation on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast.
”They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,“ the music legend wrote in a now-deleted letter that was provided to Rolling Stone.
“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” Young wrote. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”
Spotify shares dropped around 6% after Wednesday. While much of the market has been down in the last week, Spotify’s losses were more significant following criticism over Rogan’s show and Young’s move.
This is not the first time critics have gone after “The Joe Rogan Experience” for its controversial slants of news and politics, especially with the pandemic. The podcast moved off of Apple in September 2020 in a deal estimated to be worth $100 million, then it became a Spotify exclusive later that year.
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Earlier this month, a group of more than 260 health and science professionals called on Spotify to take action against “mass-information events” on its app, singling out Rogan for repeatedly spreading misleading and false claims on his show. The show has promoted the use of ivermectin to treat COVID and discouraged vaccination in young people.
And it’s also not the first time Young has stripped the streamer of his music. In 2019, he told Rolling Stone that he had removed most of his music from Spotify several years earlier because he felt the sound quality wasn’t good, but he later relented.
Peter Frampton showed his support of Young’s decision Thursday, tweeting, “Good for you Neil. I’ve always been an Apple guy for streaming. No Joe Rogan for me thank you! @neilyoung@SpotifyUSA.” And on Friday, Joni Mitchell said in a statement on her website that she will also pull her music from Spotify in protest and “stand in solidarity” with Neil Young.
“I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify. Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives,” Mitchell said.