Neil Young Quitting Spotify Could Cost Him $750K a Year

Neil Young’s decision to quit Spotify could cost him $754,000 a year, Billboard estimated, while Joni Mitchell’s similar move could mean she loses $272,000 a year.

Young demanded the removal of his catalog last week in protest against Spotify streaming The Joe Rogan Experience, a podcast in which the host regularly expresses anti-vaxxer views and allows guests to do the same. Mitchell made the same move as an act of support for Young, then Nils Lofgren followed.

Using information from multiple sources, Billboard calculated that Spotify represented 43 percent of Young’s global streaming revenue, noting that while the artist himself had said it was 60 percent, that probably referred to the number of plays on the platform. Because Spotify pays “less on average per stream” than competitors, the financial figure would be lower.

Mitchell was believed to have lost 12 percent of her revenues, assuming that Universal Music Group agreed to remove the songs of hers that they own. While Warner Music Group – also affiliated with Young – had gone through with deletion, UMG had not done so as of yet. The business partners who own half of the artists’ catalogs were expected to lose significant income, too.

Meanwhile, Spotify boss Daniel Ek, whose company dropped $2 billion in value since the scandal broke, announced plans to place advisory notices on COVID-related content by way of dealing with misinformation. “This advisory will direct listeners to our dedicated COVID-19 Hub, a resource that provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources,” Ek said in a statement, claiming the “hub” was the first of its kind as far as he knew.

He also revealed the rules platform users were supposed to observe, including being forbidden to share misinformation. However, The Joe Rogan Experience – including an episode criticized by more than 270 health experts around the world – remained available. Spotify’s exclusive deal with Rogan is thought to be worth more than $100 million.

Neil Young Albums Ranked

Neil Young is one of rock’s most brilliant, confounding, defiant and frustrating artists.

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