Apple Music, home of Neil Young

From “Apple Music trolls Spotify by calling itself ‘the home of Neil Young‘” posted Friday on CNN Business:

The messaging is a clear dig at Spotify (SPOT) and possibly an attempt by Apple (AAPL) to use Spotify’s PR headache to gain some ground. In the third quarter of 2021, Spotify reported having 172 million paying subscribers. Apple has not disclosed comparable subscriber numbers in two years, but one recent report suggested Apple Music remains well behind Spotify in the market.

Earlier this week, Young expressed in a now-deleted post on his official website that he no longer wanted his music on Spotify because of its relationship with divisive podcast host Joe Rogan. On his Spotify podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” the comedian has made frequent false and inaccurate claims surrounding vaccines and Covid-19, while also hosting numerous controversial guests.

Cue the tweet:

My take: A nice bit of Jobsian PR jiu jitsu.

21 Comments

  1. David Emery said:
    Joni Mitchell, too…

    3
    January 29, 2022
  2. Steven Noyes said:
    When you consider yourself so important, you burn down one of your houses and take it as a win while 90% of the people say Neil who???

    This is a huge win for Spotify.

    I find it troubling when renowned experts in a field have different opinions than professional bureaucrats and the news media calls it “controversial” and the government calls “problematic information” and “big tech” works to actively silence the “problematic information.”

    There is a word for this. It escapes me at the moment.

    4
    January 29, 2022
    • Robert Stack said:
      @Steven: Re: “When you consider yourself so important, you burn down one of your houses and take it as a win while 90% of the people say Neil who???”

      With all due respect…seriously? Even assuming that 90% of the people don’t know who Neil Young is, he’s supposed to consider this in deciding whether to stand on his principles? One which, as you yourself point out, will certainly cost him money. See below – Neil had polio as a kid. And he’s Canadian by birth. I think its safe to assume that his stance on vaccinations and sound public health measures reflect these circumstances.

      8
      January 29, 2022
  3. Greg Lippert said:
    Can only hope other big name artists follow suit

    8
    January 29, 2022
  4. Kenny Kruger said:
    My take? Hey Hey My My!!

    2
    January 29, 2022
  5. Fred Stein said:
    All actors in this drama are exercising their rights of expression, making their own choices, and accepting the consequences. This includes audiences, paid or ad sponsored. No one is being canceled or silenced. Apple will pick up a few more subscriptions.

    Other artists are taking sides, predictably.

    4
    January 29, 2022
    • Robert Stack said:
      @Fred: Well said – it’s Neil’s (and Joni’s) right to pull their music from Spotify if they choose. Just as it was my right to cancel my Facebook account (and delete all of the data they collected on me) many years ago after seeing just how evil the company and its leadership are. IMHO, of course. There may be a few readers here who do not see Facebook as that evil, and if so, keep your account open. You and I, and Neil and Joni, get to make our own choices.

      I doubt many here know that both Neil and Joni had polio when they were children. Joni even had special adaptations to her guitars so she could play certain notes. Thus both know how important public health measures – including vaccinations – are in preventing serious illness and death.

      7
      January 29, 2022
    • Rodney Avilla said:
      “No one is being canceled or silenced.”

      That is true, thanks to the smart decision by Spotify. Neil wanted censorship, and got upset when he didn’t get it.

      0
      January 29, 2022
  6. Nicholas Watland said:
    I guess old Neil is on the side of “The Man” now….. Complete reversal from 50 years ago….

    0
    January 29, 2022
  7. Thomas Larkin said:
    I came across an article this morning asserting two things: first, that Spotify is getting a wave of calls from customers wanting to cancel their subscriptions, and, that Spotify’s subscriber base is still much larger than Apple Music’s. If true, it just may be that this could result in switchers and that’s just competition working, affirming what Fred S. said above (full disclosure, I’m vaccinated and boosted).

    1
    January 29, 2022
  8. This Pandemic continues to have a deep negative impact on the careers of musicians & artists of all stripes. New artists are stuck performing to a camera when it’s live audience reactions that drive their desire to perform. Anyone downplaying the impact of the disease, the importance of vaccinations and masks or the efforts of health care professionals to save lives risks public derision, blowback and maybe boycotts.
    Clearly some outlets are so desperate to maintain any type of audience they’ll risk all of that to garner clicks and maybe some market share. When we’re past this global crisis many survivors might find they’ve learned a lesson or two. Credibility, once lost, is difficult or even impossible to recover.
    Neil Young and Joni Mitchell (2 of many major musicians I’ve met in my career) have no worries about their musical careers, millions of fans like myself enjoy and respect their life work.
    From my youth, I’ve sought medical advice from health care professionals, not politicians, newsreaders or musicians. I contracted COVID-19 in March, 2020 after staying several nights in a Manhattan hotel popular with tourists. It nearly killed me and left my lungs damaged from all the fierce coughing and seizures. I lost family members, friends & clients to COVID before the vaccines became available. I got all three vaccine doses as soon as I could. Anyone who downplays the value of an effective vaccine has no idea of the purpose of inoculation. George Washington personally vaccinated some of his troops against smallpox. Surgeons have worn face masks for a 100 years, for proven reasons. I watched outbreaks of AIDS, TB and malaria devastate overseas communities where I lived decades ago. Those experiences are burnished in my memory therefore I do not tolerate people or firms that play ratings games using misinformation about public health for personal gain.

    19
    January 29, 2022
    • Robert Stack said:
      @Thomas. Upvoted. Eloquently said – thank you.

      1
      January 29, 2022
  9. Nicholas Watland said:
    Censorship is a very slippery slope….. Too many commenters on this thread seem to support it.

    2
    January 29, 2022
    • Robert Stack said:
      Yes, censorship is a slippery slope, but…is it censorship if I cancel my Facebook account, delete the data they collected on me, and take my “business” elsewhere? That’s essentially what Neil and Joni did, despite the fact that their principled stand will no doubt cost them income and possibly even annoy/anger some of their fans.

      1
      January 29, 2022
      • Nicholas Watland said:
        No, it’s not censorship to delete your Facebook account. However, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell’s actions are without a doubt intended to pressure Spotify to remove Joe Rogan.

        2
        January 29, 2022
  10. Michael Goldfeder said:
    @ Everyone: I wasn’t aware of the medical childhood history of Neil and Joni having polio when they were children. I have a very good friend who was also afflicted at an early age and had to undergo some radical medical procedures as a result. It was my initial impression that their request to have their music removed was more from a political disagreement with the viewpoints of a particular podcaster. Which is their sole right as the license holders of their songs.

    That’s just another of the myriad of reasons why I appreciate the broad range of perspectives shared by everyone on this platform in what I always find to be commenced in a very civil manner.

    Thanks again for the broader perspective about this unique situation.

    2
    January 29, 2022
  11. Steven Philips said:
    @ Nicholas:
    So?
    That’s not censorship either!

    0
    January 29, 2022
    • Nicholas Watland said:
      Really Steven? Trying to stifle an individual’s right to free speech isn’t censorship?

      0
      January 29, 2022

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