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Neil Young Pulls His Catalog From Apple Music and Other Streaming Services

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Today, Neil Young took to social media to announce that he’s removing his music from all streaming services, including Apple Music. Young is blaming the decision on their poor audio quality rather than any financial frustration.

Young, who was the founder of the high fidelity Pono media player and digital service, is an advocate for audio quality. Here is Young’s full explanation:

“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”

It is possible that Young is just trying to make his own music service stand out. If you are a streaming music subscriber and you want to listen to Young’s work, you may still have some time.

Are you sad to see Neil Young’s content removed from Apple Music and other streaming services? Let us know in the comments below.

[via Pitchfork]

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  • FragilityG4

    I remember when Napster was in deep in controversy his response was “I think it’s great. Whatever gets the music around.” No mention of quality there. Anyway I respect his musical accomplishments but I’m not a fan.

  • Darryl Westbrook

    Honestly could care less. The radical difference the man is talking about is overshadowed by his ignorance towards the difference between a $300-$400 dollar set of headphones or $10-$20,000 audio system to play FLAC audio on. The sad truth is, you are lying to yourself if you can tell the difference between 256-320 KBPS or full lossless. Anyone north of 30 short of living in a cave has lost a lot of ability to hear frequencies that are supposedly able to be caught by your ears. There are very few people that sit in an isolated room and rip a solid copy of ‘Old Man’ anymore. If they do, they didn’t pay a ton of money to soundproof it or buy that insane set of headphones/stereo to do so.

  • Dar West

    Honestly could care less. The radical difference the man is talking about is overshadowed by his ignorance towards the difference between a $300-$400 dollar set of headphones or $10-$20,000 audio system to play FLAC audio on. The sad truth is, you are lying to yourself if you can tell the difference between 256-320 KBPS or full lossless. Anyone north of 30 short of living in a cave has lost a lot of ability to hear frequencies that are supposedly able to be caught by your ears. There are very few people that sit in an isolated room and rip a solid copy of ‘Old Man’ anymore. If they do, they didn’t pay a ton of money to soundproof it or buy that insane set of headphones/stereo to do so.

  • FragilityG4

    In many cases, dependent on the receiver, radio has pretty bad quality … Is he going to pull his songs from there?

  • Anthony ?

    While I’m not a huge fan of Neil, I do enjoy some of his work and I have to say this is a pretty shortsighted decision in my opinion. He can preach all he wants about sound quality, but the bottom line is that the vast majority of consumers just don’t give a crap. If you’re listening to Apple Music, or an iTunes download, on an average pair of consumer headphones you aren’t going to hear any difference whatsoever between 256 AAC and some other lossless format.

    If he’s so concerned about sound quality, why not pull his entire library from all music download services? Why not refuse to allow his music to be played over AM / FM radio? After all, these services are offering the same supposedly sub-par listening experience (or worse). If the music I listen to via Apple Music, or download to my iPhone via Apple Music isn’t good enough, then how can a digital purchase of his album in the same format and sound quality be considered adequate?

    Personally I think he’s just annoyed that nobody gives a shit about his Pono music player and his $25 high-def audio downloads. Pulling his music from all streaming services, without pulling his music from AM, FM, iTunes and other digital music stores just proves that his argument holds no merit.

    But hey, it’s his music. If he doesn’t want anyone to hear it except his most die hard fans who are willing to fork over $20+ for one of his albums then that’s up to him… I’ll just listen to music from the tens of thousands of artists who don’t have their head stuck in their ass.

  • Neil Young pulls his music from all streaming services. 99.3% of streamers shrug their shoulders as they didn’t listen to Neil Young anyways.

  • alphs22

    Marketing ploy designed to draw attention to his PonoPlayer and PonoMusic service. All it’s going to do is slim his pockets of royalties though.

  • kkritsilas

    Neil Young, is making less and less sense every time he is in the public eye. If he is truly concerned about audio quality, just don’t sell, or allow to have streamed, lower quality audio formats. Don’t allow anything below, say, 192K/24 Bit digital download purchases, disallow CDs (not high enough quality), or broadcast on FM radio that uses compression. For that matter, don’t allow vinyl album sales, either, as most people who do have the old style record players don’t have Linn Sondeks/LP12 record players. Point of all of this is, that the format that the music is sold in is only part of the equation. The equipment used to play it back is the other part, and ol’ Neil doesn’t control that (even if the Pono player strikes it big, he doesn’t control the headphones that people use, or the speakers and amplifiers). the music format cannot make up for the poor (or relatively poor) equipment used to play it back on.

    When he was ranting about how bad the oil sands were, he was full of it. He makes a video on how bad the oil sands are, but took up two full diesel burning busses to get the crews and cameras to the oil sands location. And he used to be a big time hot-rodder, having all sorts of customized and massively powerful cars in the past; not really what can be described as environmentally friendly.

    I think he is losing his grip on reality the older he gets.

  • Is he going to pull his music off of radio? Radio is much worse quality than any streaming site.
    It’s about the money.

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