Joni Mitchell joins Neil Young in Spotify boycott: “Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives”

Young and Mitchell are protesting the presence of Joe Rogan on the platform.

Joni Mitchell

Image: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty

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Joni Mitchell has expressed solidarity with Neil Young, revealing that she too will take her music down from the streaming platform Spotify in protest against the platform’s star podcaster, Joe Rogan.

In a statement posted to her website entitled “I stand with Neil!”, Mitchell wrote: “I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify. Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have been friends since early in their careers. Notably, the two musicians are both survivors of polio, contracting the disease in the early 1950s, shortly before a vaccine became available.

Mitchell did not name Joe Rogan specifically in her statement, however, she linked to the open letter which asks Spotify to act on the misinformation being hosted by Rogan. It has been signed by a large number of medical professionals.

Rogan has been under fire recently, following an episode of his show where he hosted Dr Robert Malone. Malone used the platform to share his strong anti-vaccine views, including his perspective on Mass Formation Psychosis – a baseless theory that posits that the public has been hypnotised into falsely believing the vaccine is safe.

Joe Rogan signed a $100 million deal with Spotify in May 2020. His average audience per episode is estimated to be 11 million, making his show one of the most popular in the world – and a flagship exclusive for the platform. It’s also likely an incredibly lucrative show for Spotify, as according to The Verge it commands a minimum ad spend of $1 million.

Following Neil Young’s departure from Spotify, the platform’s competitors took the opportunity to poke fun at the situation. Apple Music hosted a section on its homepage called “We love Neil,” and posted several tongue-in-cheek tweets about how they continue to host Young’s music.

Whether more artists will follow Young and Mitchell’s lead remains to be seen. Guitar.com has contacted Spotify for comment.

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