David Crosby, Graham Nash and Stephen Stills have requested that their labels remove their collective recordings from Spotify. In solidarity with their bandmate Neil Young, and in support of stopping harmful misinformation about COVID-19, they have decided to remove their records from the streaming platform including the recordings of CROSBY, STILLS, NASH & YOUNG, CROSBY, STILLS & NASH and CROSBY & NASH, as well as Crosby's and Stills's solo projects. Nash has already begun the process to take down his solo recordings.
In a unified statement, the band members commented: "We support Neil and we agree with him that there is dangerous disinformation being aired on Spotify's Joe Rogan podcast. While we always value alternate points of view, knowingly spreading disinformation during this global pandemic has deadly consequences. Until real action is taken to show that a concern for humanity must be balanced with commerce, we don't want our music — or the music we made together — to be on the same platform."
Last month, Neil demanded that his catalog be removed from Spotify in response to "fake information about vaccines" being "spread" on the platform via Joe Rogan's podcast, "The Joe Rogan Experience". Young delivered an ultimatum, adding, "They can have Rogan or Young. Not both." Spotify announced a few days later that it would pull Young's music catalog from its platform.
In the days after Neil had his music from Spotify removed, a handful of notable artists have pulled their music from the streaming giant, blaming the platform for spreading false information about coronavirus via Rogan's podcast.
Neil's wife and acclaimed actress Daryl Hannah took to Twitter to express criticism for Rogan's podcast and the eventual choice Spotify has made regarding Neil's ultimatum.
Daryl wrote: "sad to see some confuse censorship & free speech with the choice a private company has in deciding what they profit from a podcaster is free to say whatever they want Just as Neil is free to NOT have his music on a platform that makes $$$ of disinformation that harms folks".
In response, Rogan promised to "do my best, in the future, to balance things out," while Spotify said it would add content advisories to podcast episodes with information about COVID-19. In an almost 10-minute-long Instagram video posted on Monday, Rogan said he would "try harder to get people with differing opinions on" on his show, which averages 11 million listeners per episode.
"The Joe Rogan Experience" became a Spotify exclusive in 2020, when Rogan signed a multi-year exclusive licensing deal with the streaming giant.
Spotify's company's chief executive Daniel Ek has defended Rogan in the past, including after an episode that featured the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in 2020.
"We want creators to create," Ek told The Financial Times at the time. "It's what they do best. We're not looking to play a role in what they should say."