After decrying music streaming and saying that his latest album “does not fit on iTunes” Neil Young has decided to rejoin the present and embrace music streaming services once again.
Neil Young’s has a turbulent and often misunderstood relationship with digital music, famously saying earlier this year that his live album EARTH “does not fit on iTunes. It breaks all their rules”. Why Young thought there was a size limit to albums on iTunes is as good your guess as mine but it probably has to do with music quality.
Young’s biggest gripe with streaming services he claims is their low sound quality, which resulted in him launching his own hi-res portable player and music store in 2014. The terribly designed PONO player didn’t quite revolutionise the digital music industry and the PONO store ended up closing down earlier this year for the indefinite future.
After a stint of exclusivity at Jay Z’s high resolution streamer Tidal Neil Young has finally come back to reality and returned his music to streaming services like Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music as well as digital stores. Young said in 2015 that it was solely about quality and not money, saying: “I don’t need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution… When the quality is back, I’ll give it another look. Never say never.”
None of the major streaming services have upgraded their quality recently so maybe Neil Young just listened to the next generation of listeners and how they want to listen to music, as streaming is quickly becoming the primary form of music consumption around the world. I’ve honestly never noticed a damaging difference in quality between hi-res formats and digital streaming so I’m glad Young has come around to the format that is giving the music industry it’s biggest boost in 20 years.