Neil Young Versus Spotify: How Should Spotify Handle Misinformation?

Abstract

Rock legend Neil Young removed his catalogue from streaming giant Spotify in January 2022 in protest at the company’s association with popular podcaster Joe Rogan, who has come under fire for his role in spreading alleged misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines. Young called for Spotify employees and users to boycott the company, and several other artists followed suit in removing their music and content from the platform, resulting in a USD 2 billion drop in market value for Spotify. Spotify ultimately chose to stick with Rogan over Young, though it did acquiesce in removing several episodes in which Rogan used racial slurs. This case reviews the controversy and asks students to discuss how Spotify should move forward in terms of strategy and corporate social responsibility.

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