Spotify Should Listen to Neil Young, Not Joe Rogan
The streaming platform’s choice could come back to haunt it
Donald Trump’s rise to power has cast Neil Young in an unusual light. The Canadian-born folk singer is known for his soft, gentle tones and soothing lyrics. A true icon of the 1960s and ‘70s, Young wasn’t afraid to get political in his music, though he stuck to his classic mellow sound when he did. Even the political anthem that led to him suing Trump stressed the importance of peace and music over unrest and rebellion. As he put it,
There’s a warnin’ sign on the road ahead
There’s a lot of people sayin’ we’d be better off dead
Don’t feel like Satan, but I am to them
So I try to forget it any way I can
Lately, Young has been back in the news for reasons that have the political crowd up in arms. This time is different, though. He’s chosen to take a stand against popular music and podcast platform Spotify, and his fight is vaccine disinformation. This time, though, Young isn’t advocating for an empathetic approach. Far from it.
Last week, he gave the company an ultimatum, making it clear that he wouldn’t be associated with a platform that was responsible for the spreading of vaccine misinformation. Specifically, he singled out a particular podcast that has come under fire in the age of Covid.
The Joe Rogan Experience is the world’s largest podcast by listener volume. Its namesake and founder hosts a variety of guests from different sides of the political aisle, but his following is vast and male. His résumé is also vast, spanning years in stand-up comedy to commentating for Ultimate Fighting Championship. But as a podcaster, he’s become the voice of the contrarians, angry men who are sick of ‘woke’ culture. As Distractify reports, “Joe has spoken on the state of the world and politics in a way that grates against the idea of political correctness. It’s possible that in his head, and probably in the minds of those who like his podcast, he’s calling a spade a spade.”