Two weeks after writing an anti-streaming Facebook post, Neil Young has pulled the majority of his music from streaming services. On July 15, Young let his fans know that “streaming has ended for me” — not because of monetary reasons, but because the sound quality is subpar.
“AM radio kicked streaming’s ass. Analog Cassettes and 8 tracks also kicked streaming’s ass, and absolutely rocked compared to streaming,” Young wrote. “Streaming sucks. Streaming is the worst audio in history.”
Now, only five of the artist’s albums from the ’80s and early ’90s remain on various streaming services. Young did, however, share on Facebook that he would allow his albums back on streaming services if the audio quality was improved.
Young isn’t the only musician unhappy with streaming services, for various reasons…
Taylor Swift pulled her music off most streaming services in November 2014, but has now put her entire catalog on Apple Music. On July 7, 2014, Swift wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal explaining why she pulled her catalog from Spotify.
“Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art,” she wrote.
In late June 2015, Prince removed all of his music from most streaming services, except for Jay Z’s TIDAL. (Update on July 30: Just a day after publishing this article, Prince posted a single song on Spotify: His new single “Stare.”)
None of The Beatles’ famous works can be found on Spotify due to the band’s exclusive agreement with iTunes, although fans of the individual artists can listen to their solo work on select streaming services. Beatlemaniacs can only find the huge discography on Apple Music.
Thom Yorke, Tool and Garth Brooks
Radiohead‘s Thom Yorke, rock band Tool and country star Garth Brooks think alike in that they appreciate the art form of a complete album compared to singles. Brooks doesn’t have his music on any streaming services, or even to purchase on iTunes. Yorke told The Guardian in October 2013 that Spotify is “the last desperate fart of a dying corpse.”
Country crooner Jason Aldean took his music off of Spotify soon after Swift did in 2014.
“The debate the whole music industry is having on streaming is complicated,” he told The Associated Press. “And while I’m definitely paying attention to the business side of things, I am first and foremost an artist. I’m an artist whose career has been built by the songwriters, publishers, producers and engineers that line Music Row in Nashville. What they do has value, and I want everyone who is involved in making my music to be paid fairly.”
“It’s an ongoing issue with my manager and Capitol Records,” Seger told Rolling Stone. “You have to talk to him about that. They agreed to something many years ago about new media and they don’t want to live up to it.”
“Essentially, streaming has offered labels the ability to pay themselves twice while reducing what is owed to artists…
— Prince3EG (@Prince3EG) June 25, 2015