Neil Young removed his music catalog from Spotify in a public protest against Joe Rogan’s podcast last week, which resulted in both support and criticism from the public. Plenty of fans vowed to cancel their Spotify accounts in solidarity and no doubt some followed through with that threat. But now some Twitter users are crying foul over how mainstream media is reporting on the financial implications of the event.
“Spotify Lost More Than $2 Billion in Market Value After Neil Young Pulled His Music Over Joe Rogan’s Podcast,” a Variety headline announced Saturday. Many other publications had similar declarations, which appeared to link the two events. But the text of the article, commenters pointed out, led to different conclusions.
“This is cherry-picked bullsh**,” Mediaite journalist John Ziegler shared alongside a chart of the overall stock situation for the company.
“The market in general was way down this week, but in the last two days of trading, since they announced Young was gone and Rogan is staying, their stock is actually up slightly. You moronic hacks have no shame!”
“Point to when Neil Young pulled his music on this graph of their stock,” another Twitter user quipped alongside a photo of the stock plummeting over a longer period of time.
“You mean Spotify stock is down, kinda like the entire NASDAQ is down 20% in the same time frame? Is that Rogan’s fault as well? Critical thinking fail. But then again you weren’t really thinking at all, were you?” someone else wrote.
“The whole market was down this past week. Did Tesla’s stock also dip because a misguided old man pulled his music from Spotify?” yet another Tweet said.
The Variety writer admitted in the text of the article that Spotify stock was already in a severe downward spiral prior to Young’s ultimatum and eventual follow-through.
“To be sure, Spotify’s stock price was already on the slide — having plummeted 25% year-to-date as of January 25, the day before Young’s catalog was pulled off Spotify,” the article admits. The writer also revealed that the stock rebounded on Friday with a 1% increase that reflected the overall market upturn. But anyone just reading the headline would assume that Young’s departure had catastrophic consequences from a financial standpoint.
The drama began last week as Young published an open letter to his management team, stating “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform. They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.”
The Canadian-American musician accused Rogan of being guilty of spreading vaccine “misinformation” and that Spotify was complicit in these actions by continuing to host the podcast.
“With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence,” the letter continued. “Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy.”
Meanwhile, Rogan hosts the number one most listened to podcast on Spotify and has an exclusive multi-year distribution deal worth more than $100 million, Variety wrote.
The Variety writer speculated that other artists could follow suit with Young, which already happened once this week when singer Joni Mitchell decided to pull her music from the platform. But so far, those are the only two artists who have removed their music because of Rogan.