Neil Young Announces Return to Spotify After Leaving in 2022 Over Joe Rogan's Spread of 'Disinformation'

The folk-rock artist originally removed his discography from Spotify in early 2022 in protest of false claims made about COVID-19 on 'The Joe Rogan Experience'

<p>Jeff Vespa/WireImage</p> Neil Young at Sundance Film Festival in 2006

Jeff Vespa/WireImage

Neil Young at Sundance Film Festival in 2006

Neil Young’s music is officially coming back to Spotify.

On Wednesday, the folk-rock legend, 78, revealed in a statement shared to his website that he is putting his entire discography back on the streaming service, after having previously removed his music nearly two years ago in protest of Spotify’s deal with Joe Rogan’s podcast.

Young explained that his decision comes as The Joe Rogan Experience is no longer exclusive to Spotify and now also available on both Apple Music and Amazon Music.

In his message, the Godfather of Grunge wrote that now his music will be in front of more listeners, while also making remarks about Spotify’s audio quality.

The “Heart of Gold” singer began, “Spotify, the #1 streaming of low res music in the world — Spotify where you get less quality than we made, will now be home of my music again.”

<p>Matthew Baker/Getty</p> Neil Young performing at Hyde Park in London on July 12, 2019

Matthew Baker/Getty

Neil Young performing at Hyde Park in London on July 12, 2019

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“My decision comes as music services Apple and Amazon have started serving the same disinformation podcast features I opposed at SPOTIFY,” he continued, referring to his stance against The Joe Rogan Experience and its dissemination of false information about COVID-19 that led him to remove his music from the streamer originally.

“I cannot just leave Apple and Amazon, like I did with Spotify, because my music would have very little streaming outlet to music lovers at all,” Young wrote. “So I have returned to Spotify, 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.”

After the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer noted that his discography is presented in high-resolution on Tidal and Qobuz, he shared that he hopes Spotify listeners will eventually be able to hear his music in the quality it’s intended to be heard. “Hopefully Spotify will turn to Hi Res as the answer and serve all the music to everyone. Spotify, you can do it! Really be #1 in all ways. You have the music and the listeners!!!! Start with a limited Hi res tier and build from there!” Young concluded.

The Grammy winner did not specify when exactly all of his albums will return to Spotify.

getty (2) Neil Young and Joe Rogan
getty (2) Neil Young and Joe Rogan

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In early February, Rogan, 56, announced that his podcast would no longer only be available on Spotify, and it became available on other platforms shortly after.

Young initially spoke out against the false claims Rogan made about vaccines and COVID-19 in January 2022, offering an ultimatum to Spotify that the streamer either needed to remove The Joe Rogan Experience or his music.

“I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have Rogan or Young. Not both," he wrote in a since deleted post on his website.

The “Harvest Moon” artist explained, "I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them.”

Related: Crosby, Stills and Nash Ask to Have Music Removed from Spotify amid 'Dangerous' COVID Disinformation

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When the streaming service continued to carry out its deal with Rogan, Young ultimately decided to remove his music from streaming on Spotify and shared an additional letter.

He wrote, “Most of the listeners hearing the unfactual, misleading and false COVID information on Spotify are 24 years old, impressionable and easy to swing to the wrong side of the truth. These young people believe Spotify would never present grossly unfactual information. They unfortunately are wrong. I knew I had to try to point that out."

Young’s decision followed an open letter written by a collective of 270 scientists, professors and medical professionals who requested Spotify implement a misinformation policy. The message specifically cited Rogan’s discouragement of vaccinations in young people and children, false claim that mRNA vaccines are "gene therapy" and his promotion of off-label use of ivermectin to treat COVID, which the FDA has previously warned against.

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