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Neil Young

Vows to drop music from streaming services

15 Jul, 2015

Young vows to take his music off “all streaming services” due to issues he has with their sound quality, Young’s PonoMusic claims downloads CD quality (1,411 kbps) or better (9,216 kbps for ultra-high resolution recordings), but most streaming music, such as Spotify, Google Play and Apple Music, downloads at 320kbps. Tidal’s hi-end plan’s 1,411kbps is close to CD-quality.

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.

In a follow-up message, Young criticizes streaming further:

I was there. AM radio kicked streaming’s ass. Analog Cassettes and 8 tracks also kicked streaming’s ass, and absolutely rocked compared to streaming. Streaming sucks. Streaming is the worst audio in history. If you want it, you got it. It’s here to stay. Your choice. Copy my songs if you want to. That’s free. Your choice. All my music, my life’s work, is what I am preserving the way I want it to be. It’s already started. My music is being removed from all streaming services. It’s not good enough to sell or rent. Make streaming sound good and I will be back.