It’s taken him two weeks, but Neil Young has finally followed up on his threat to remove his music from streaming services. Some time this past weekend, most of Young’s albums disappeared from Spotify, Apple Music, Rdio and other subscription streaming services. A Spotify spokesperson confirmed the removal when contacted by Variety.
Albums removed include Young’s most recent, “The Monsanto Years,” as well as classics like the 1972 album “Harvest” and the 1992 follow-up “Harvest Moon.” Young has recorded more than 40 live and studio albums throughout his career, most of which are now unavailable for streaming.
Young took to Facebook and Twitter earlier this month to declare that he was going to take his music off streaming services. Unlike other musicians, Young’s primary beef with Spotify and similar services wasn’t about the economics of streaming. Instead, he complained that the audio quality of music services was too low.
“I don’t need my music to be devalued by the worst quality in the history of broadcasting or any other form of distribution,” he said, adding: “I don’t feel right allowing this to be sold to my fans. It’s bad for my music.”
However, Young wasn’t able to remove his entire catalog from streaming services. Currently, Spotify still makes five albums available for streaming, including the 1983 title “Trans” and “Old Ways” from 1985. A similar selection is available on Apple Music and Rdio.
All of these albums were recorded by the musician for Geffen Records. The rights to these albums are now held by Universal Music, which apparently didn’t share Young’s views on streaming audio quality.
Neil Young’s albums are still available for sale through iTunes, Google Play, Amazon and other download stores. Young has also begun to sell his music via Pono, a company founded by the musician to sell a high-definition music player and high-quality music downloads.