Six months after members of Crosby, Stills & Nash asked Spotify to remove their music from the streaming service, the folk-rock band’s songs have been back on the platform since Saturday.
The trio in February had joined a protest by former bandmate Neil Young, who demanded his music be removed from Spotify over the company’s distribution deal with popular podcaster Joe Rogan, who is accused of broadcasting misinformation regarding COVID-19 and vaccines on “The Joe Rogan Experience.
On Saturday, in response to a Twitter user who asked Crosby why his music was back on Spotify, the musician said“I don’t own it now and the people who own it are in business to make money.”
I don’t own it now and people who do are in business to make money https://t.co/TwyI2z2y1w
—David Crosby (@thedavidcrosby) July 2, 2022
In March 2021, Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artist Group acquired Crosby’s catalog, which included his publishing and recorded music rights, including his solo work, as well as his work with the Byrds; Crosby and Nash; Crosby, Stills & Nash; and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
In May, 80-year-old Crosby said he was retiring from touring because “I’m too old to keep doing it. I don’t have the stamina; I don’t have the strength.
Crosby also explained why he sold his catalog. “Spotify does not pay us. I had two ways of making a living, touring and recording. Spotify is coming and I don’t get paid for the records anymore,” he said. “That’s half my income, okay?” So I think, well, I should be grateful that I can still play live, pay the rent, and take care of my family. And then comes COVID and I can’t play live. The reason I sold my collection was that I had no other choice. None. Zero.”
Crosby, Stills & Nash released a statement in February saying, “We support Neil and agree with him that there is dangerous misinformation being spread on Spotify’s Joe Rogan podcast. While we always appreciate alternative viewpoints, knowingly spreading misinformation during this global pandemic has deadly consequences. Until concrete steps are taken to show that caring for humanity must be balanced with commerce, we don’t want our music – or the music we’ve made together – to be on the same platform.
Young’s solo recordings – who, in addition to ripping off his music, had urged Spotify employees to quit their jobs – remain off Spotify. Music from Joni Mitchell and India.Arie, who joined what was ultimately a limited scope protest against Rogan, is also virtually unavailable on the platform.
Last month, Spotify formed an 18-member council to advise the company on policies around harmful content on the audio platform “while ensuring respect for creator expression”. The company did not cite Rogan or the COVID misinformation controversy on its podcast in this announcement.
Pictured above (left to right): Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Graham Nash in 2010