Neil Young is returning to Spotify after boycotting it over Joe Rogan’s vaccine comments

Neil Young is back on Spotify after boycotting the platform over two years ago, he said in a new blog post. The Canadian singer ditched the platform over vaccine misinformation on the Joe Rogan podcast, later saying he was fed up with Spotify’s “shitty” sound quality anyway.

Young returned because Rogan’s podcast is no longer exclusive on Spotify. “My decision comes as music services Apple and Amazon have started serving the same disinformation podcast features I had opposed at Spotify,” he said, without specifically mentioning the Joe Rogan Experience.

There’s no way he could also pull his catalog from Apple Music and Amazon as well, he added, “because my music would have very little streaming outlet to music lovers at all” if he did. Young also expressed hope that Spotify would improve its sound quality, while shouting out Quobuz and Tidal for presenting his songs in high-res.

“Spotify, you can do it! Really be #1 in all ways. You have the music and listeners!!!! Start with a limited Hi res tier and build from there!” he wrote. (Spotify did announce that it would launch a HiFi tier way back in early 2021, but it has yet to actually do so.)

Fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell joined Young in the boycott, and her music is still missing from the platform. Both had reason to be incensed about the vaccine misinformation on Rogan’s show as both were victims of polio — a disease that was wiped out in North America thanks to vaccines.

It’s hard to say how Young’s boycott affected Spotify, but it certainly impacted his finances. Last year, Billboard estimated that pulling his songs from Spotify cost him roughly $300,000 in lost recorded music and publishing royalties.

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