(Pocket-lint) - Spotify has confirmed that it is beginning to remove songs from Neil Young's catalogue from its service after the singer issued an ultimatum to the streaming giant earlier this week.
He demanded that the platform take a stand against Joe Rogan, its biggest podcaster, for his pattern of repeatedly spreading misinformation about the COVID-19 pandemic and its vaccines.
Young said, "They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.", and it would seem that Spotify has fairly quickly made its choice. It is removing songs now, although it said that it hopes Young will return to the platform soon.
That seems unlikely to happen while The Joe Rogan Experience is still Spotify's golden podcast goose - one it paid $100 million for a little over a year ago. It reportedly attracts 200 million listens each month, a serious chunk of users.
Young has thanked his record label, Reprise Records, which is owned by Warner Bros., for being willing to take the hit on what he says is around 60 percent of his streaming figures.
In its own defence, Spotify has said that it has "detailed content policies in place and [has] removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to Covid since the start of the pandemic." That said, it conspicuously seems reluctant to censure Rogan on the matter.
The big question moving forward is whether Young's boycott of the service has made any other big names in music sit up and take notice - if more artists start objecting to Spotify's main man in podcasts, the equation could get a little more complicated for the streaming service.