Neil Young Says His Music Is Returning to Spotify

Neil Young is bringing his music back to Spotify more than two years after requesting its removal from the platform, the singer-songwriter announced Tuesday (March 12).

In January 2022, Young published an open letter asking Spotify to pull down his catalog, citing what he called the spread of vaccine misinformation on the wildly popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which was then hosted exclusively on the streaming platform. Several other artists, including Joni Mitchell, Indie.Arie and Young’s Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmates David Crosby, Stephen Stills and Graham Nash, subsequently followed suit, though CSN/CSN&Y and Arie’s music have since been restored to the service; Mitchell’s catalog remains absent.

In a new post on his Neil Young Archives website, the legendary artist said the end of Spotify’s exclusive deal with Rogan led to his decision to restore his music to the service. “My decision comes as music services Apple and Amazon have started serving the same disinformation podcast features I had opposed at Spotify,” the post reads – a clear reference to the Joe Rogan Experience, though Young never mentions it by name.

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“I cannot just leave Apple and Amazon, like I did Spotify, because my music would have very little streaming outlet to music lovers at all, 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,” Young continued, before shouting out Qobuz and Tidal, where his catalog also lives, as “High res” streaming options.

Young concludes his post by stating his hope that 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 listeners!!!! Start with a limited Hi res tier and build from there!”

Spotify announced plans to roll out a HiFi tier in February 2021, though those plans have yet to come to fruition. In June 2023, Bloomberg reported the streaming giant would finally launch the product later in the year, but the company declined comment when reached by Billboard – and the calendar rolled over without the tier materializing.

Young has long been an advocate of high-resolution audio, even launching his own (now-defunct) high-res audio download platform, Pono, in 2015 before shuttering it two years later.

In September, Billboard estimated that the absence of Young’s catalog on Spotify had cost him roughly $300,000 in lost recorded music and publishing royalties to that point.

At press time, Young’s music catalog had yet to be restored to Spotify, which did not immediately respond to Billboard‘s request for comment.

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