Neil Young has joined Prince in pulling his music from all streaming services.
Young says that it isn't about the money but about the sound quality. The singer was instrumental in the development of the hi-resolution Pono Player.
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.
He followed up two hours later with some very dubious comparisons, especially when
he says 'AM radio kicked streaming's ass'.
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.
Copy my songs if you want to. That's free.
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.
Now, we were there, too and we're not sure what drugs Neil was on during the 70's but there was no way that AM radio had better sound than streaming nor was it better from a programming standpoint. With many streaming services, the listener picks the songs and the order they are played. That was most definitely not so with AM radio.
Also, cassettes and 8-tracks also had questionable sound quality and, quite frankly, they were a pain to do any selection of specific tracks.
The question is, did Young really pull his music because of the sound quality or was it because of sagging sales. Neil had a run of albums at the end of the last decade through 2012 that did increasingly better on the charts. In 2012 alone, he had two top ten albums with Americana (#4) and Psychedelic Pill (#8).
His three albums since that time have dropped off with A Letter Home peaking at 13, Storytone giving him a 25-year low at 33 and his newest, The Monsanto Years, falling from 21 to 39 with just four additional days of sales data in the second week, showing a steep decline in sales. Things are looking even worse in week three as the Hits Daily Double Building Sales chart, for Monday through Wednesday, shows that he has fallen out of the top 50.
The bottom line is that this is not going to do anything for Young's flagging career. Although he didn't pick up a lot of extra 'sales' through streaming, his move is still proving unpopular with his fans as they have taken to issuing complaints on Neil's website.