Neil Young: “When I Left SPOTIFY, I Felt Better”

Neil Young has more to say.

In a new letter posted on his website on Friday (January 28), Neil Young said he is not for censorship, he’s simply making a choice.

After making an ultimatum to the streaming giant Spotify, Young put his money where his mouth is and went through with his demand. As such, Spotify will no longer carry Young’s music.

But in the new letter, which Young posted earlier this week, he wrote: “When I left SPOTIFY, I felt better.”

He wrote in full, “Digital music has been with us about 40 years now. Digital, rather than reproducing copies of the music as we did back in the analog day, reconstitutes it from 1s and 0s and plays back data that you hear as music.

“This allows business people like those who run SPOTIFY to cut the quality right down to 5% of the music’s content. It’s just math. It’s easy to do that with digital, thus allowing more songs and less music to stream faster. That’s because 95% is missing. Thats what SPOTIFY the Tech company does. SPOTIFY then sells you the downgraded music.

“When I started everyone got to hear all the music. 100%.

“AMAZON, APPLE MUSIC and Qobuz deliver up to 100% of the music today and it sounds a lot better than the shitty degraded and neutered sound of SPOTIFY. If you support SPOTIFY, you are destroying an art form. Business over art. SPOTIFY plays the artist’s music at 5% of its quality and charges you like it was the real thing.

AMAZON, APPLE MUSIC and Qobuz now deliver the real thing. SPOTIFY is ripping you off and has been since day 1. No goosebumps from SPOTIFY sound!

“Switch to one of the alternatives – companies that support the arts. Real sound is available there. AMAZON, APPLE MUSIC and Qobuz You just have to leave Spotify and go to a new place that truly cares about music quality.

“I met Danielle Ek when he started SPOTIFY. it sounded to me like he was really going to be getting into it. That was a long time ago. I wonder what happened.

“When I left Spotify, I felt better.

“I support free speech. I have never been in favor of censorship. Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information. I am happy and proud to stand in solidarity with the front line health care workers who risk their lives every day to help others.

“As an unexpected bonus, I sound better everywhere else.

“love earth be well neil.”

Streaming experts say that Young is expected to lose 60% of his streaming budget as a result.

Two days after Young published (and then took down) a letter demanding that Spotify choose either him or popular podcaster Joe Rogan, who Young claims is spouting misinformation about COVID-19, its effects, and the vaccine, Spotify is acquiescing to Young’s demands.

The streaming service is now in the process of removing Young’s music.

A Spotify spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, “We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators. We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”

In his letter, Young wrote, “I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines—potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them. … They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”

Young added, “I truly want to thank the many, many people who have reached out to me thanking me for taking this position—people who are health professionals on the front lines, people who have lost loved ones to COVID or who are worried for their own children and families. I have never felt so much love coming from so many. I sincerely hope that other artists and record companies will move off the Spotify platform and stop supporting Spotify’s deadly misinformation about COVID.”

In December a group of 270 doctors and healthcare professionals wrote a letter to Spotify asking the platform to “mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform.”

Spotify has been the sole distributor of Rogan’s podcast since 2020.

Photo: Gary Burden/Warner Records

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