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Neil Young returning to Spotify after streaming giant’s new Joe Rogan deal

Neil Young has returned his music to Spotify, two years after he removed it over the streaming giant’s exclusive deal with podcaster Joe Rogan, whom he accused of vaccine disinformation.

In a message posted on his website on Tuesday, the legendary singer-songwriter said: “Music services Apple and Amazon have started serving the same disinformation podcast I had opposed at Spotify.

“I cannot leave Apple and Amazon, like I did Spotify, because my music would have very little streaming outlet to music lovers at all, so I have returned.

In a dig at the platform’s use of low-resolution audio files, he titled the message “My Return To Low Res Spotify” and said he was doing it “in sincere hopes that Spotify sound quality will improve and people will be able to hear and feel all the music as we made it.”

His back catalogue was also available on hi-res streamers, Qobuz and Tidal, he said.

Rogan’s hugely popular show, the Joe Rogan Experience, is a long-form conversation on a wide variety of topics featuring a broad range of guests, with several episodes aired most weeks.

One edition, with Elon Musk, was watched 67 million times, according to the podcaster’s website, quoting Datawrapper.

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In an April 2021 episode, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Rogan discouraged young people from getting vaccinated, saying: “If you’re like 21 years old, and you say to me, ‘Should I get vaccinated?’ I’ll go, no.”

The following January, Young, 78, published an open letter saying he was removing his music “because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines”, which, he said, was “potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them”.

Rogan responded that he did not want to hurt anyone and was “not trying to promote misinformation”, or “be controversial”.

All he wanted, he said, was “to just talk to people”, adding that he didn’t know if they were right “because I’m not a doctor; I’m not a scientist,” Rolling Stone said.

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Last month, Spotify ended its exclusive relationship with Rogan in a new multi-year deal, said to be worth $250m (£195m), that would make The Joe Rogan Experience available on other platforms such as Apple, Amazon and YouTube.

The show is the world’s most-listened-to podcast, according to Spotify, which announced plans to roll out a hi-fi tier in 2021, but has not done so yet.

In September, Billboard estimated the absence of Young’s music from Spotify had cost him roughly $300,000 (£234,000) in lost royalties to that point.

Sky News Source