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Amazon and Apple Music flaunt support for Neil Young with special deals and playlists after legendary artist breaks from Spotify in ultimatum over Joe Rogan podcast

Neil Young and Joe Rogan.

Gary Miller / Getty Images / Michael S. Schwartz / Getty Images

  • Neil Young pulled his music from Spotify in protest of vaccine misinformation on Joe Rogan’s podcast. 
  • Spotify’s shares were down by 12% after Young announced his break with the music streamer.
  • Amazon, Apple Music, and SiriusXM have quickly capitalized on the feud with special deals and playlists.

Apple Music, Amazon Music, and SiriusXM have wasted no time in capitalizing on rival Spotify’s recent loss of legendary artist Neil Young.

Just three days after Young’s decision to pull his catalog from the music streamer in protest of the controversial “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, Amazon Music is offering fans a free four-month subscription trial. 

“All new listeners to Amazon Music will automatically get four months free,” Young shared with fans on Friday. “Amazon has been leading the pack in bringing Hi-Res audio to the masses, and it’s a great place to enjoy my entire catalog in the highest quality available.”

On Thursday, Apple Music added a “We Love Neil” section to its homepage and sent out push notifications linked to Young’s latest album. The same day, SiriusXM announced it would be airing its “Neil Young Radio” program over the next seven days. 

“When you have an opportunity to present an iconic artist still at the height of his creativity, you don’t hesitate to do it, again,” SiriusXM Senior Vice President of Music Programming Steve Blatter said in a statement. 

—Apple Music (@AppleMusic) January 28, 2022


The courting of Young’s audience follows the songwriter’s ultimatum that Spotify could have “Rogan or Young” but “not both,” after he accused the streaming service of spreading “life-threatening” vaccine misinformation on “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast. 

“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,” Young wrote on his website. “I realized I could not continue to support Spotify’s life threatening misinformation to the music loving public.” 

Spotify currently commands 31% of global streaming subscribers, followed by Apple Music at 15%, according to a January 18 report from Midia, a research and analysis service focused on digital content. Amazon and Tencent Music are tied at third place with 13% each. 

On Friday, Joni Mitchell announced she would also pull her music from Spotify in solidarity with Young, writing in a post on her website that she believes “irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives.” 

According to internal messages published by The Verge, Spotify’s communications chief told employees that episodes of Joe Rogan’s podcast “didn’t meet the threshold for removal.”

A Spotify spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that “we regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”

“We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators,” the spokesman said. “The company has detailed content policies in place and has removed over 20,000 COVID-related podcast episodes since the start of the pandemic.”

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