How Will Neil Young Removing His Music From Spotify Hurt the Streaming Platform?

by Maggie Schneider
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Analysts say that the removal of Neil Young’s catalog will not hurt Spotify. Instead, it may have a negative impact on the artist.

Spotify users can no longer listen to Neil Young’s catalog. In a public letter posted earlier this week, Young wrote that he would remove his music from the platform if they continued to support podcaster Joe Rogan. He claims that giving Rogan a place to speak means spreading misinformation regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” he says. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”

With the end of Young’s deal with Spotify comes the beginning of a new deal. Partnering again with SiriusXM, “Neil Young Radio” will return to the airwaves of its subscribers. The show will include music from his entire catalogue, as well as special programming and commentary from the artist himself.

Neil Young’s Business Move

While this new deal still targets his demographic, experts suggest that the removal of his music from Spotify will mean a loss of income for Young. There are so many more Spotify users than SiriusXM subscribers. The streaming platform’s chain for music discovery also allows new listeners to find music they would never think of searching.

Eric Schiffer, a brand expert, gives his opinion on Young’s ultimatum.

“Someone at SiriusXM has been reading the news and saw an opportunity to capitalize,” he says. “Young’s managers are hearing a giant sucking sound in their bank account over the Spotify exit perhaps are I’m sure happy about this so they can try to recapture the revenue that has been decimated from leaving Spotify.”

Marketing wise, this public switch to SiriusXM is giving Neil Young some buzz. However, Spotify will continue to be just as successful without his catalog.

For instance, Joe Rogan is the world’s most popular podcaster. Earning about 11 million listeners per episode, it is unlikely that Spotify will end their contract for Neil Young. With these numbers, the platform would lose much more money by letting Rogan go.

However, the podcaster is just as controversial as he is popular. In an open letter, almost 300 doctors and scientists asked Spotify to censor Rogan’s baseless claims regarding COVID-19 and the vaccine.

Martin SFP Bryant of Big Revolution says that losing Rogan could be much more detrimental to Spotify’s revenue.

“The number of people who will switch to a rival platform over the lack of ‘Harvest Moon’ will be dwarfed by the number of people who would likely switch if The Joe Rogan Experience moved elsewhere.”

Spotify has not yet released a statement regarding the recent situation.

Outsider.com