Welcome to the latest episode of Talking Trends, the weekly podcast from Music Business Worldwide – where we go deep behind the headlines of news stories affecting the entertainment industry. Talking Trends is supported by Voly Music.
This week on Talking Trends, MBW founder, Tim Ingham, discusses Neil Young's decision to remove his catalog from Spotify in protest to what he deems Covid-19 misinformation appearing on the platform.
Specifically, Young is unhappy about at least one episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, on which Rogan interviews a Covid vaccine-sceptic doctor.
Young has been joined in pulling his music from Spotify by Joni Mitchell and Nils Lofgren.
Will more artists now follow? And could an artist exodus cause irreparable damage to Spotify's valuation?
"The artists who’ve left Spotify in these past few days are all protesting what they deem to be Covid misinformation," says Ingham. "But we already know there are of artists out there, big and small, who have other consequential problems with Spotify, particularly economic."
He adds: "Spotify’s stranglehold on the music business is weakening – the stats back that up... So if artists and songwriters become less frightened of the commercial consequences of removing their music from Spotify, why wouldn’t they follow Neil Young if they felt strongly enough?"
The Music Business Worldwide Podcast is supported by Voly Music.