Apple Music picks up where Spotify left off in the rocker vs Rogan ballad

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Apple Music has joined the chorus in the Spotify vs Neil Young vs Joe Rogan opera, promoting on social media that it is “the home of Neil Young.”

Apple Music picks up where Spotify left off in the rocker vs Rogan ballad
© Provided by National Post Earlier this week, Canadian rocker Neil Young threatened to pull his catalogue from the Spotify online streaming service unless they stopped distributing The Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Rogan gets roughly 11 million listeners per episode, so it was an easy call for Spotify; they pulled Young’s catalogue.

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On Thursday, Apple’s music streaming service pinned a tweet saying fans of the Canadian-American musician could listen to his entire music catalog on Apple Music.

Earlier in the week, Apple Music had put out a tweet that said: It is always a good idea to listen to Neil Young.

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The home of Neil Young.

Listen to his entire catalog on Apple Music: https://t.co/sUGtz4JbB9 pic.twitter.com/YgRMygUqhi

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— Apple Music (@AppleMusic) January 28, 2022

Other musicians joined Apple’s social media pile-on, according to Rolling Stone Magazine . Peter Frampton tweeted: “Good for you Neil. I’ve always been an Apple guy for streaming. No Joe Rogan for me thank you!”

Good for you Neil.

I’ve always been an Apple guy for streaming. No Joe Rogan for me thank you! @neilyoung @SpotifyUSA

— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) January 28, 2022

SiriusXM also announced Thursday that it is bringing back Neil Young Radio, with Young’s music set to take over its Deep Tracks channel for the next seven days.

It is the latest in the week’s drama that saw Young issue an ultimatum to Spotify to remove his music in protest against the provocative and popular podcaster Joe Rogan for spreading vaccine  misinformation.

“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” Young wrote in an open letter addressed to his manager and record label, Warner Music Group. “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,” he added.


Video: Spotify removes Neil Young’s music, keeps Joe Rogan’s podcast after open letter (USA TODAY)

On Wednesday, the streaming service agreed to remove his music. “We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon,” Spotify said in a statement.

Young, who thanked his record label for standing by him in the controversy, said Spotify accounted for 60 per cent of the streaming of his music to listeners around the world. The removal is “a huge loss for my record company to absorb,” he said.

Rogan is the host of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” the top-rated podcast on Spotify, which holds exclusive rights to the program.

He has stirred controversy with his views on the pandemic, government mandates and vaccines to control the spread of the coronavirus.

Earlier this month 270 scientists and medical professionals also issued an open letter to Spotify , urging the streaming giant to establish a misinformation policy after an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience promoted what they said were “baseless conspiracy theories” about the pandemic.

Since the start of the pandemic, Spotify has removed 20,000 podcast episodes containing COVID misinformation. The company said it worked to balance “both safety for listeners and freedom for creators” in accordance with its “detailed content policies.”

But Spotify is a tech company looking to maximize profits, so it is no surprise it is sticking with Rogan — the podcast has an estimated 11 million listeners. The streaming service intends to dominate the podcast space, announcing in 2019 it was planning to spend up to US$500 million to acquire companies “in the emerging podcast marketplace.”

The plan seems to be working. Spotify reportedly overtook Apple Podcasts last year to become the largest podcast provider in the United States.

But in the process, it has strained relations with musicians. Taylor Swift also pulled her music from the platform until it met her demands.

Young issued a plea to other musicians to join him in his protest against Rogan and Spotify: “I sincerely hope that other artists and record companies will move off the SPOTIFY platform and stop supporting SPOTIFY’s deadly misinformation about COVID,” Young wrote on his blog on Wednesday.

And Apple Music wants people to know they will be there if they do.

With additional reporting by the Washington Post.

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