April 15, 2024

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Neil Young says he will return to Spotify, two years after his exit from Joe Rogan's podcast

Neil Young says he will return to Spotify, two years after his exit from Joe Rogan's podcast

Neil Young is returning his music to Spotify because, he says, Apple and Amazon have begun “serving the same misinformation” in podcasts that led him to leave Spotify more than two years ago. Young said he couldn't boycott Apple Music and Amazon Music, because then his music wouldn't have “a major streaming outlet for music fans at all.”

In January 2022, Young demanded that Spotify pull his tracks from its service in protest of the company's failure to curb misinformation about Covid on his podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Spotify “could have Rogan or Young,” he said. Not both.” Spotify removed Young's songs on January 26. “Spotify has recently become an extremely destructive force with its misinformation and general lies about the coronavirus,” Young wrote at the time.

Now the 78-year-old rock icon, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995, is returning to Spotify. But he said that's because Apple and Amazon have also become fonts of misinformation.

“Spotify, the #1 streamer of low-res music in the world — Spotify, where you get lower quality than we made it, will now be home to my music again,” Young announced Tuesday in a post on his website.

“My decision comes as Apple and Amazon's music services start offering the same misleading audio streaming features that I railed against at SPOTIFY,” Young continued. “I can't leave Apple and Amazon, like I did with Spotify, because my music will never have a major streaming outlet for audiophiles,” Young continued. So I returned to Spotify, in the sincere hope that Spotify's audio quality would improve and people would be able to listen and feel all the music as we made it. “Qouz and Tidal, where I showcase my music, are all in high-resolution, too.”

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Young did not clarify what “misinformation” Apple and Amazon were allegedly carrying. But this may be a reference to a renewal of Rogan's multi-year deal with Spotify signed last month, under which the “Joe Rogan Experience” will no longer be available exclusively on Spotify. The podcast is now available on Apple Podcasts and YouTube, and will be coming to Amazon Music, according to Spotify.

“I hope all millions of Spotify users enjoy my songs!” Young wrote in the post. “All of them will be available to you now except the full audio we created.”

He urged Spotify to deliver high-quality audio, which the audio streaming player has previously promised — but has yet to deliver. “We hope Spotify turns to Hi Res as an answer and brings all the music to everyone,” Young wrote. “Spotify, you can do it! Truly be #1 in every way. You have the music and the listeners!!!! Start with a limited level of HD and build from there!”

Young, after exiting Spotify in 2022, had criticized the quality of audio compression as offering “degraded, neutered audio… If you support Spotify, you are destroying an art form.”