January 27, 2022

Neil Young & Joe Rogan: Why Spotify does not “Keep on Rocking in a Free World.”


Neil Young threatened Spotify to remove his music because of Joe Rogan—but apparently, Spotify is with Rogan.

I am pretty sure Young knew that Spotify would take sides with Rogan. It’s a brave move. Young is about to lose 60 percent of his streaming revenue.

But he doesn’t care. He wants to do the right thing.

It’s not surprising that Spotify is not willing to remove Rogan from its platform. The controversial podcaster signed a 100-million dollar deal with Spotify last year.

I would like to know if Rogan informed Spotify that he wants to use his podcast to spread fake news. Yes, I said it. I stand by my words.

Rogan created a platform for questionable folks like Robert Malone, Candace Owens, and Jordan Peterson. He talks with White dudes about what it’s like to be Black, questions vaccines, and is unsure about climate change.

So, what’s wrong with Rogan?

I used to like him. I used to listen to his podcast. But I changed my mind.

It’s just too much by now. It’s one thing to practice critical thinking and another to promote conspiracy theories. Rogan has crossed that line several times.

And I am not even sure if that’s really his perspective or if money is his only motivation.

When the pandemic started, I posted a video on my Instagram account to warn folks about conspiracy theories. I supported mask mandates and lockdowns—and lost 2,000 followers in two hours. What would have happened if I had taken a different route? Maybe I would have gained millions of followers.

But I am still glad that I did the right thing. Mr. Rogan took a different direction. He probably took a look at his target group and decided to be the voice of White dudes who like martial arts, machismo, and Donald Trump.

And yes, he spoke up for Bernie Sanders. But he didn’t actually speak up for Bernie; he wanted to bash Hillary Clinton. That’s a huge difference.

Rogan knows how the media works and plays his role. Young did the same thing. But there is a huge difference in what motivates each of these men.

One wants to make money, and the other wants to do the right thing. One cares about himself, and the other cares about society. One is still on Spotify, and the other one isn’t.

I hope that other influential artists will support Young. Maybe others will follow his example. And hopefully, this story backfires on Spotify.

Until then, Rogan can invite Kid Rock to his show and cry about cancel culture—and millions would watch it.

I applaud Young for his courage. We need more Neil Youngs in this world. I hope he inspires others to follow his example.



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