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Neil Young pulls from streaming over sound quality

By | Published on Thursday 16 July 2015

Neil Young

Possibly inspired by the BBC banning his songs from the airwaves, Neil Young is banning himself from all streaming services.

But why is streaming “ending” for him, you might ask? Is it the mediocre royalties? No. Is it being forced to participate in freemium as well as premium? No. Is it that he once fell in a stream and now has an unnatural aversion to the word? No. It’s sound quality of course! Because once you go Pono you’ll never go, erm…

So yes, having provided the world with the Pono high quality download service, Young took to Facebook yesterday to announce that he was pulling all of his music from all of those tinny low-rent streaming sets ups. He wrote: “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”.

He went on: “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”.

So there you go. Imagine being a child of the streaming generation and having only ever heard music though a crappy old streaming service. You’d have never experienced the glorious sound of the cassette. Those were the days. Especially when you taped the album off a friend’s copy onto a blank tape you bought from the chemist for 27p. Thank that Lord someone is standing up for those better days.

It’s not clear what Young makes of the high-quality streaming options provided by the likes of Tidal and Deezer, though perhaps he doesn’t want to have to also opt in to those company’s cheaper standard sound quality services.