Apple Trolls Spotify Over Neil Young

Troll © Clara, Shutterstock 2012

After Spotify agrees to remove Neil Young’s music from its platform, Apple Music touts itself as “the home of Neil Young”

Apple opted for some epic trolling of Spotify, as it tries to promote Apple Music against the streaming music giant.

Just days after Spotify agreed to remove Neil Young’s music from its service, after he requested it in protest of Spotify hosting “The Joe Rogan Experience” podcast, Apple was able to get some sweet revenge on its music streaming rival.

Apple Music tweeted last week it was “the home of Neil Young,” and invited subscribers to “listen to his entire catalog on Apple Music.”


Not friends

In addition, CNN reported that some Apple Music users also reported seeing Young’s albums and playlists promoted front and center in the Apple Music “browse” section with the banner “We Love Neil.”

It is clear that Apple is making an obvious dig at Spotify and capitalise on its unwelcomed publicity surrounding the Neil Young controversy.

Spotify of course is the streaming music goliath, with 172 million paying subscribers during the third quarter of 2021.

Apple Music is well down on those numbers, but it is hard to say by how much, as the iPhone giant does not disclose its subscriber numbers.

And Apple and Spotify are not exactly best buddies either.

Remember, Spotify in May 2019 filed an antitrust complaint against Apple with the European Commission.

It accused Apple of “using its dominant position and unfair practices to disadvantage competitors and deprive consumers by favouring its own services.”

The Swedish company accused Apple of unfairly using the dominance of its mobile App Store to give the Apple Music service a competitive advantage. Its complaint centred on Apple’s policy of charging digital content providers a 30 percent fee for using its payment system for subscriptions sold in the App Store.

Apple strongly defended itself against Spotify’s complaints, and slammed the firm for using its App Store to dramatically grow its business, and then allegedly seeking to keep all the benefits of the App Store ecosystem (including hefty revenues), without making any contributions to that marketplace.

Then in September 2020 Spotify again lashed out at Apple, this time over it launching a bundled subscription service (Apple One) that includes cloud storage (iCloud), Apple TV+ and Apple Music etc in a single package costing $14.95 per month.

Apple responded to Spotify’s complaint at the time and insisted that Apple One was a good option for customers.

Joe Rogan row

This is set against a backdrop of a row about a divisive podcast hosted by Joe Rogan, where the comedian made frequent false and inaccurate claims surrounding vaccines and Covid-19, while also hosting numerous controversial guests.

“The Joe Rogan Experience” is one of the most popular podcasts on Spotify, but Neil Young took exception and expressed in a now-deleted post on his official website that he no longer wanted his music on Spotify because of its relationship with Joe Rogan.

Spotify followed Young’s request by removing his music catalog from the platform and on Sunday, its CEO, Daniel Ek, released an official statement setting out the streaming platform’s plan to tackle misinformation.

He revealed that new content advisories will direct listeners of any podcast that discusses coronavirus to a dedicated website that “provides easy access to data-driven facts, up-to-date information as shared by scientists, physicians, academics and public health authorities around the world, as well as links to trusted sources.”

Meanwhile in a 10-minute video posted to Instagram on Sunday night, Joe Rogan pledged to “try harder to get people with differing opinions on” and “do my best to make sure I’ve researched these topics”.

He also apologised to Spotify and thanked it for being so supportive. “I’m very sorry that this is happening to them and that they’re taking so much from it,” he reportedly said.