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Neil Young dings Spotify again over Joe Rogan and music quality


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Neil Young removed his catalogue from Spotify earlier this year in protest at podcaster Joe Rogan’s views on Covid-19 – and the platform’s unwillingness to censor them. Meanwhile, Young is also a longstanding critic of the audio quality of non-hi-res music streaming.

In a new interview with radio DJ Howard Stern this week, Young gave Spotify a piece of his mind over both these topics.

“I listened to it and they were saying he [Rogan] purposely is saying this stuff that he knows isn’t true about Covid and people were dying,” said Young. “I just called up my management and said, ‘We’re out of there. Get me off.’ And we’ll be fine, and it was a little shocking because they know all the [streaming] numbers. Who cares? You know, who cares?”

Later, he segued into his views on audio quality, praising Apple Music, Amazon Music and Qobuz in comparison to Spotify.

“The way I look at it, that just turned me off and I made an instant decision — I didn’t think about it at all — just take my music off, we don’t need it. We’ve got all these other places, and it sounds better at the other places. Why would I want to keep it on Spotify when it sounds like a pixelated movie?”

Spotify is still expected to launch its own hi-res tier, but given his views on Rogan’s misinformation, that may not be enough to tempt Young back onto the platform.


Written by: Stuart Dredge