Neil Young Back on Spotify, Says Apple Just as Bad

After more than two years, Neil Young announces his return to Spotify. In January 2022, he requested his music be taken down due to concerns about vaccine misinformation on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.

Neil Young

Alongside Young, other artists like Joni Mitchell, Indie.Arie, and his bandmates from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young followed suit, although some have since restored their music on the platform.

According to Billboard, Young’s decision to return comes after Spotify’s exclusive deal with Rogan ended. In a post on his Neil Young Archives website, he expressed hope for improved sound quality on Spotify and mentioned his support for high-resolution streaming options like Qobuz and Tidal.

“My decision comes as music services Apple and Amazon have started serving the same disinformation podcast features I had opposed at Spotify,” says Young. “I cannot just leave Apple and Amazon, like I did Spotify, because my music would have very little streaming outlet to music lovers at all.”

Despite Spotify’s announcement of a HiFi tier in February 2021, the implementation of this feature has yet to materialize, as confirmed by Bloomberg reports in June 2023.

Spotify logo

According to estimates by Billboard in September, Young’s absence from Spotify has resulted in significant financial losses, with approximately $300,000 in lost recorded music and publishing royalties.

As of the latest update, Neil Young’s music is yet to be reinstated on Spotify, and the streaming giant has not responded to the music publication’s inquiries regarding this matter.

Nevertheless, Young’s decision to return to Spotify signals a growing demand within the music industry for platforms to prioritize high-quality audio experiences, reflecting evolving expectations among both artists and listeners.

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