Neil Young Says 'Streaming Has Ended For Me'

Michael Kovac/WireImage
Neil Young attends the 56th GRAMMY Awards P&E Wing Event Honoring Neil Young at The Village Recording Studios on Jan. 21, 2014 in Los Angeles.

The bard says he's withdrawing his music from streaming, saying "I don't need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting."

Neil Young, who has spent the better part of the past two years pushing adoption of high-fidelity audio, is withdrawing his music from streaming services for that very reason. (At the time of writing, his music was still available to stream on Spotify, Pandora and Apple Music.)

In a post to his Facebook page Young writes:

Streaming has ended for me. I hope this is ok for my fans.

It's not because of the money, although my share (like all the other artists) was dramatically reduced by bad deals made without my consent.

It's about sound quality. 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.

When the quality is back, I'll give it another look. Never say never.

Neil Young

Many responses to the post were critical of the decision -- "I don't recall [Neil Young] ever having an issue with putting his music on cassette tape" -- saying they used streaming for its convenience, not its audio fidelity. Many were supportive of Young's decision however, supporting the artist in standing up for what he believes.

Young may be the first artist, and definitely the most high-profile, to pull their catalog over audio quality concerns. A common refrain from artists since Spotify brought streaming mainstream in the U.S. in 2011 has been that the royalties paid by the services are insufficient. That disagreement led Taylor Swift to pull her catalog from Spotify last year.


THE BILLBOARD BIZ
SUBSCRIBER EXPERIENCE

The Biz premium subscriber content has moved to Billboard.com/business.


To simplify subscriber access, we have temporarily disabled the password requirement.