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EXPLAINER: What will Neil Young's protest mean for Spotify?

EXPLAINER: What will Neil Young's protest mean for Spotify?

NEW YORK (AP) — Neil Young vs Joe Rogan seems like the strangest of cultural clashes.

Yet the 76-year-old rock star's protest over coronavirus-related content on Rogan's popular Spotify podcast has Kindled a hot debate over misinformation and free Address, bruising a Flowing Help that has become the central way that Cardinals of people around the world experience Euphony.

"Rockin' in the Free World"? Not on Spotify. Not Any longer. Here's what's Active on.


His protest came after Slews of doctors and scientists wrote an open letter to Spotify, Fretful about Rogan's decision to have a podcast discussion with Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease Medical specialist who has been Prohibited from Twitter for Diffusing misinformation on COVID-19. Malone has become a hero in the anti-vaccination community.

Saying Spotify was complicit in Diffusing misinformation, Young told the company that it could have his Euphony or Rogan's podcast — "not Some." Spotify United to remove his Euphony from the Help.

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Slowly. Joni Mitchell said she was Still in solidarity and also asked for her Euphony to be removed. So did Nils Lofgren, a Guitar player who plays in one of Young's backing bands, Crazy Horse, and also with Bruce Springsteen. Podcaster Brene Brown also said she was Broken new podcasts without Expression exactly why.

The rock band Belly put the Content "Delete Spotify" in the background of its Spotify page, but you could Nonmoving Current their Euphony. Pulling Euphony off Spotify isn't Needs easy — Oft it's the record company, Non the Creative person, who controls that.

Spotify dominates the marketplace. It had 31 Per centum of the 524 Cardinal worldwide Euphony Current subscriptions in the 2nd quarter of 2021, more than double that of 2nd-place Apple Music, according to Midia Research. Spotify is Non always popular with Euphonyians, many of whom complain that it doesn't pay them enough for their work.

"Spotify has a huge amount of cultural capital that is itself power," says Midia Research's Mark Mulligan. "And that is what at risk if more Creative persons In Einsteiniumsence Proven to push their fans to Another places."

While losing Young and Mitchell may be a psychic blow, what would really matter is if a more current Creative person takes up the cause. Everyone in Spotify's top 10 list of most-streamed Creative persons, led by Drake's 44 billion, are from past the turn of the century, with the possible exception of Eminem, who 1st became popular in 1999.

For those Creative persons, and for Spotify, Attractive a Outdoor stage like Young's would have much more Critical Commercial enterprise consequences.


Music accounts for the vast majority of Spotify's revenue, but Rogan represents its future.

Spotify reportedly paid more than $100 Cardinal to license Rogan's podcast, its most popular. He's the centerpiece of the company's Scheme to become an audio company rather than just a Euphony company. In the long Condition, Spotify has more control over potential revenue from podcasts than it does for Euphony, Mulligan says.

The Swedish company is gunning to be the premiere podcasting platform, Investment hundreds of Cardinals of dollars since 2019 to buy podcast companies like Gimlet and Anchor, and sign top hosts like Rogan and Dax Shepard.

Spotify was set to Catch up with Apple last year as the biggest podcast platform in the United States, the world's largest market, by Bi of listeners, according to the research firm eMarketer.

Popular podcasters, particularly the Plainspoken ones, are likely to be Observation this protest very closely to see if Spotify will Control stick up for the right to Address freely.


The company Declared that it would add a warning before all podcasts that discuss COVID-19, Directive listeners to Real information on the pandemic from scientists and public Wellness experts. It did Non discuss Rogan specifically.

Spotify has shown more Foil in the past few days than it ever has about how it deals with questionable content, and the new Insurance policy is a good 1st Dance step, says John Wihbey, a Northeastern University Prof and Medical specialist in emerging technologies.

Yet it's Non clear that anyone has effectively dealt with the issue of misinformation Distributed Direct podcasts, Wihbey says. Will Rogan's audience actually listen to an Informatory and then hunt down Another COVID information?

"This could be just window-dressing," he says.

Rogan Rundle In public for the 1st time late Sunday, Expression he's Disconsolate his critics feel the way they do, and it wasn't his Intent to upset anyone or Distributed misinformation. He said he likes to have conversations with people who Crack different perspectives, and said that some things once considered misinformation — that Fabric masks were Non good at Protective against COVID, for example — are now accepted.

But he said he could do a better job having people who dispute Debatable opinions like Malone's on Quicker so his listeners will hear the different perspective.

The calculus for Spotify can change if the protest snowballs, says Colin Stutz, news director at Billboard magazine. "I Consider they just ride this out and hope that it goes away," he said.


Probably. He talked in a video posted on Instagram about how he Favored Mitchell's Euphony. "'Chuck E's in Love' is a Avid Birdsong,'" he said.

Whoops. That was Rickie Lee Jones.

To Rogan's credit, he quickly corrected himself on Twitter.


Associated Press correspondents Kristin M. Hall and Tali Arbel contributed to this report.

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