“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform,” he continued. “They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.” Young is referencing the steady stream of misinformation about vaccines that Joe Rogan has peddled on The Joe Rogan Experience . Last month, 270 doctors, physicians, and science educators signed an open letter asking Spotify to stop spreading Rogan’s baseless claims.
I feel like this is one of the ultimate fake taking of a stands. Spotify is notorious for paying artists peanuts, and they are heavily invested in Rogan. Young is already plenty wealthy therefore will not miss the peanuts Spotify pays him when Spotify makes the obvious choice and protects their investment. Maybe it was a way to get his stuff off Spotify without breaking a contract.
The point is… That this was clearly a fight he wasn’t going to win. He knew it and Spotify knew it. There was no way on this planet Spotify was going to flush even for a second a 100 million investment in Rogan. It’s moral grandstanding. But I always assume people with lots of money have ulterior motives. Because they often do. Maybe it really is just as simple as a sincere “Look at me everybody, look how morally courageous I am, though I have literally have nothing on the line.”
They may pay them peanuts, but I have been to many concerts and bought numerous vinyl from new artists I have discovered on Spotify. Radio sucks and Spotify and like services are the only way that emerging artists get any play at all.
Joe is a singular point of failure for narrative control. As they marginalize every other such voice, people flock to Rogan. Shutting Joe down—and preventing future Joes by threatening platforms—is about protecting power from scrutiny. Permanently.
In a statement he posted to his website reiterating his opposition to Spotify’s misinformation policy, Young added: “I support free speech. I have never been in favor of censorship. Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information.”
I think he could have found a better way to protest. He and Mitchell have made their millions. By trying to bring down Spotify, they are potentially depriving many unheard artists a platform for getting their music heard.