Opinion: There’s Room on the Spotify Playground for Everyone
Can't we all just get along?
Musicians Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have both pulled their music from streaming service Spotify, stating that they don't want to be available on the same platform as controversial podcast host Joe Rogan. Rogan has been blamed for having guests on his show spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19.
Early this week, the Los Angeles Times shared:
The company agreed to publish its “platform rules” and add content advisories to episodes that discuss COVID-19, though it appeared to set a high bar for what it considers misinformation. It’s unclear whether Spotify’s response will be enough to quell the turmoil and relieve pressure on other artists to act.
When Neil Young put out the call for more artists to follow his lead, few did.
On a personal note, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell taking their songs off the platform didn't really change my listening habits. What really got to me about all this was an article from Newsweek, sharing that Taylor Swift's fans wanted her to pull her music. As someone who listens to her at least once a week on Spotify, it definitely made me perk up.
Let's rewind to 2014 when it was major headline news that Taylor Swift pulled all her music from Spotify due to issues her team had with the free ad-supported version of the platform. It wasn't until June of 2017 that her music returned to the service. Why would we want to suffer through that again?
Here's where the opinion part of this comes in. I don't listen to Joe Rogan's podcast. Tried it once, wasn't a fan. So you know what I did? I just never listened again. I didn't give it the time of day, and if I saw it show up on my home page, I would just keep scrolling.
Artists pulling their music from Spotify in protest of Joe Rogan's show is a noble effort, but in the grand scheme of things the people who want to listen to Mr. Rogan are still going to find a way to seek out his content. By taking their music down, they are only hindering their own dedicated listeners. (And hindering every single person who is receiving payment for having that music available for streaming.)
There's room on the Spotify playground for everyone. If you don't like something, scroll past and move on.
PS: Taylor Swift, if you do pull your music can you at least leave us the Red (Taylor's Version) album? Thanks.
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