Neil Young Makes a Reluctant Return to Spotify

He had left because the platform exclusively hosted Joe Rogan's podcast: "It's either me or him." Now that the show is also on Amazon and Apple, "I can't completely make my music disappear from streaming."

After a tumultuous hiatus spanning over two years, Neil Young is making headlines once again with his decision to bring his music back to Spotify. Fans might recall his bold move in January 2022 when he pulled his catalog from the streaming giant due to concerns over the spread of vaccine misinformation on Joe Rogan’s podcast.

But times have changed, and so has the landscape of streaming platforms. With Joe Rogan’s podcast no longer exclusively tied to Spotify and available on Apple and Amazon, Young finds himself at a crossroads. In a candid message posted on his website, the legendary folk musician expressed his reservations about returning to Spotify, citing concerns over the platform’s audio quality.

“Spotify, the #1 streamer of low res music in the world,” Young lamented, acknowledging the compromise he’s making by rejoining the platform. Despite his dissatisfaction, Young recognizes the need to reach his audience where they are, even if it means compromising on sound fidelity.

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Young’s decision underscores the complexities artists face in navigating the digital landscape, balancing principles with practicality. His return to Spotify signals a reluctant acceptance of the platform’s shortcomings while maintaining hope for improvement in the future.

As fans eagerly await the release of his new live album with Crazy Horse, FU##IN’ UP, slated for April 20, Young’s return to Spotify adds an intriguing chapter to his storied career, one marked by both artistic integrity and the realities of the modern music industry.

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