Neil Young tells Spotify Employees to quit “before it eats up your soul”: “[CEO] Daniel Ek is your big problem – not Joe Rogan”

Young has condemned Ek for his response to the recent controversy.

Neil Young has continued to rail against Spotify, asking employees of the streaming giant to leave the company on account of co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek.

Young initially pulled his music from the platform in protest against The Joe Rogan Experience, a Spotify-exclusive podcast that faced criticism for its hosting of anti-vaccine figures. Following Young’s exit, several other musicians and podcasters removed their catalogues, citing a handful of reasons: Joe Rogan and his guests’ questionable medical advice, Joe Rogan’s use of racially insensitive language and overall attitude towards race, and Spotify’s meagre per-stream payouts for musicians.

Now, in a new statement on his website the Neil Young Archives, Young called for the abandonment of the “misinformers.” He also rallied on his fellow baby boomers to rebalance the economic scales in favour of younger generations, and cease supporting those contributing to global warming. “In our communication age, misinformation is the problem. Ditch the misinformers. Find a good clean place to support with your monthly checks. You have the real power. Use it,” he wrote.


“To the baby boomers, I say 70 per cent of the country’s financial assets are in your hands compared with just about five per cent for millennials. You and I need to lead. In our age of Climate Chaos, I say ditch the companies contributing to the mass fossil fuel destruction of Earth.

“For their continued funding of the fossil fuel damage even as the global temperature keeps climbing, I say take your money from the accounts of these American banks today: Chase, Citi, Bank of America, Wells Fargo.

“Join me as I move my money away from the damage causers or you will unintentionally be one of them. You have the power to change the world. We can do it together. Your grandchildren will thank you in history.”

His statement went on to call on both Spotify’s employees and creators that use it to ditch the platform. “To the musicians and creators in the world, I say this: You must be able to find a better place than Spotify to be the home of your art. To the workers at Spotify, I say Daniel Ek is your big problem – not Joe Rogan. Ek pulls the strings.

Get out of that place before it eats up your soul. The only goals stated by EK are about numbers – not art, not creativity. Notice that EK never mentions the Medical Professionals who started this conversation. Look – one last time – at the statements EK has made.”
He closed out his statement by writing: “Then be free and take the good paths.”

Ek’s response to the controversy has been met with mixed reactions. He condemned Joe Rogan’s past use of racist language, but stated that “cancelling voices” is not the right thing to do. He also shared the platform’s content guidelines, and stated that podcasts which discuss COVID-19 will in future be marked with a disclaimer and a link to an information hub.