Neil Young Pulls His Songs from Streaming Services

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Neil Young is pulling his music from streaming services over poor sound quality.

While Young is also unhappy with the amount royalties that the services pay artists, he said that is not the reason for removing his music from streaming.

“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,” he wrote on Facebook on Wednesday. “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.”

Young—who made headlines last month when he told 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump to stop his using his music in his campaign—wrote a second message that went further in its criticism of streaming’s sound quality, noting that AM radio, analog cassettes and even eight-track tapes offered superior sound.

“Streaming sucks. Streaming is the worst audio in history. If you want it, you got it. It’s here to stay. Your choice,” he wrote.

“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.”

Young is a proponent of high-quality digital music services. He’s behind Pono, the portable player that streams high-quality FLAC-level files. FLAC—Free Lossless Audio Codec—files are compressed but don’t suffer loss in quality.

Jay Z’s Tidal streaming service features high-quality audio but carries a monthly fee that is double what Apple Music and Spotify charge. And while Spotify offers 320kbps streaming for Premium subscribers, that is still inferior to FLAC.

Young didn’t rule out returning his catalog to streaming services should quality improve.

“For me, It’s about making and distributing music people can really hear and feel. I stand for that,” he wrote. “When the quality is back, I’ll give it another look. Never say never.”

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