Neil Young is pulling his entire catalogue from the music streaming market. He announced the news on Wednesday via Facebook with a somewhat vague message that focused on the issue of sound quality.
“Streaming has ended for me,” Young wrote. “I hope this is ok for my fans.”
He goes on to argue that it isn’t an issue of money, though Young does note that streaming deals aren’t exactly lucrative for musicians. Instead he blames the sound quality of most streaming services, calling it “the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution.”
Neil Young launched his own Pono music player last year, offering high quality FLAC listening. The triangular $399 device works in tandem with a special online store where you can buy music for around $20 per album. For die-hard music fans that might be worth the price, but for most people streaming services like Spotify are a much more attractive offer.
It’s also unclear exactly which services will be affected. Young is presumably pulling his music from Spotify, and Apple Music seems likely as well. Tidal might make the cut thanks to its high-quality $20/month tier. Pandora isn’t generally grouped with these services, but it could easily lose out on Young’s discography as well.
On the bright side, the musician does note that he’ll reconsider “when the quality is back.” That’s a pretty vague promise though, and we wouldn’t count on seeing Young’s music return to Spotify any time soon. It’s unclear exactly when he plans to pull the plug though, so you may have time to stream your favorite Neil Young song one last time.