Spotify's shares dropped by 12% after Neil Young demanded his songs be removed from the platform over 'COVID-19 misinformation'

Spotify's shares dropped by 12% after Neil Young demanded his songs be removed from the platform over 'COVID-19 misinformation'
Fabian Sommer/Getty Images
  • On Monday, Neil Young demanded Spotify pull his music over COVID-19 misinformation.
  • Most of his music was pulled by Wednesday.

Spotify's shares were down by 12% the week after Neil Young requested his music be removed from the platform over COVID-19 vaccine misinformation, according to data from Nasdaq.

The data showed a 12% drop on Friday, January 28 compared to the previous Friday.

Young demanded his music be removed over misinformation promoted by Joe Rogan on his "The Joe Rogan Experience" podcast.

"They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both," Young wrote on Monday. The majority of his music had been removed by Wednesday.

"Spotify has recently become a very damaging force via its public misinformation and lies about COVID," Young wrote in a letter posted on his website on Wednesday. "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."


On Friday, artist Joni Mitchell also said she planned to remove her music from Spotify in solidarity with Young.

In a post to his site on Friday, Young said he felt better when he left Spotify.

Young's statement came after an episode where Rogan interviewed Robert Malone, a scientist who claimed Americans were being "hypnotized" into following COVID-19 measures because of "mass formation psychosis."

Psychology experts have said there is no evidence for Malone's claims.

More than 200 doctors, nurses, scientists, and educators have also signed an open letter calling on Spotify to mitigate the spread of misinformation after an episode of Rogan's podcast.


On Friday, leaked internal messages showed Dustee Jenkins, Spotify's head of global communications and public relations, telling concerned employees in an internal Slack channel that after reviewing several episodes of Rogan's podcast, the company's found they "didn't meet the threshold for removal."

"We apply our policies consistently and objectively," Jenkins wrote. "They are not influenced by the media cycle, calls from any one individual or from external partners. It doesn't mean I personally agree with this content. But I trust our policies and the rationale behind them."

Spotify did not respond to Insider's request for comment at the time of publication.