Neil Young Addresses Spotify And Joe Rogan Brouhaha: “I Support Free Speech”

Neil Young pulled his music from Spotify this week, describing the platform as “the home of life threatening COVID misinformation” due to its association with controversial yet extremely popular podcast bro Joe Rogan. And today, Young has followed up his open letters explaining his decision with another statement on his Neil Young Archives website addressing the kerfuffle.

“When I left Spotify, I felt better,” Young writes. “I support free speech. I have never been in favor of censorship. Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information. I am happy and proud to stand in solidarity with the front line health care workers who risk their lives every day to help others.”

Young also returns to his old sound quality bugbear — remember Pono? “Digital, rather than reproducing copies of the music as we did back in the analog day, reconstitutes it from 1s and 0s and plays back data that you hear as music,” Young continues. “This allows business people like those who run SPOTIFY to cut the quality right down to 5% of the music’s content.”

He goes on to plug Spotify competitors like Amazon, Apple Music, and Qobuz, which he says “deliver up to 100% of the music today and it sounds a lot better than the shitty degraded and neutered sound of SPOTIFY. If you support SPOTIFY, you are destroying an art form. Business over art. SPOTIFY plays the artist’s music at 5% of its quality and charges you like it was the real thing. AMAZON, APPLE MUSIC and Qobuz now deliver the real thing.”

Read Young’s full statement below.

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