Neil Young Radio Relaunches on SiriusXM the Day After His Music Was Removed from Spotify
The broadcasting company is no "Slowpoke"
Published Jan 27, 2022Refusing to miss a beat, SiriusXM has relaunched Neil Young Radio — a streaming and satellite music channel boasting music and exclusive stories from the legendary singer-songwriter — in the wake of the musician's threats to pull his catalogue from the platform over Joe Rogan's vaccine misinformation and Spotify's decision to side with Rogan.
Initially a limited-run channel, Neil Young Radio launched on SiriusXM back in December. Now it returns to Deep Tracks (Channel 27) for seven days — and a month on the SiriusXM app — starting today.
The programming lineup is said to include "rarities and exclusives, every new song from his latest album Barn, epic hits and fan favourites from his solo music, collaborations with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, plus Neil sharing the insights behind writing and recording the music," according to SiriusXM's announcement.
"Outspoken, brave and a true music icon, Neil Young is in a rare class of artists, and we are honoured to collaborate with him to create a special audio experience for his fans," vice president and general manager of programming Steve Blatter added.
However, as Variety reports, SiriusXM is also home to multiple conservative radio shows promoting views that align with Rogan's — particularly on the SiriusXM Patriot channel, featuring the likes of American commentator Sean Hannity, far-right syndicate Breitbart News and right-wing radio host Andrew Wilkow.
The catch is that satellite radio is covered by different broadcast licenses than streaming services; thus rights-holders aren't able to prevent the music they have stake in from being broadcast. Meanwhile, streaming services like Spotify host artists' content at the rights-holder's discretion.
In 2020, the streaming giant signed a $100 million USD deal for exclusive rights to The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, so it's no surprise that they stayed where the money was. As Young pointed out in his recent open letter addressing his concerns over vaccines misinformation on the platform, the show boasts an estimated 11 million listeners per episode as the world's largest podcast.
"Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy," the artist argued, demanding accountability — but the streaming service seems to have its heart set on a different kind of gold.
Spotify's off the table, but you can check out Young & Crazy Horse's Barn documentary on YouTube.