“Streaming has ended for me. I hope this is ok for my fans,” the artist wrote. By the time of writing, however, Neil Young’s music was still available to stream on Apple Music and Spotify.
While the music industry has vocally criticized streaming services for paying low figures back to copyright-holders, Young claims, “It’s not because of the money.”
Young has a different problem with streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music: that they compress audio files to such low quality in order to stream effectively.
“It’s about sound quality,” Young continued. “I don’t need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution. I don’t feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It’s bad for my music. For me, It’s about making and distributing music people can really hear and feel. I stand for that.”
The story behind the story: Neil Young, of course, is not the only artist to have taken a stand against popular streaming services. Previously, Prince removed all his music from Spotify, Rdio, and Deezer after we noticed that his catalog was missing from Apple Music. Apple Music did manage to bring other streaming critics onboard, however, notably Taylor Swift and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.
But for Young fans, there may be a glimmer of hope if streaming services improve their audio quality. “When the quality is back, I’ll give it another look. Never say never,” Young wrote. Perhaps Jay-Z should jump in and help his Tidal HiFi service score this exclusive.
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Oscar writes about iOS, mobile culture and digital music. He also hosts 'The iPhone Show' from Macworld's San Francisco HQ.