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Home Culture Neil Young returns to Spotify: a lot of joy and also a lot of sadness | Culture

Neil Young returns to Spotify: a lot of joy and also a lot of sadness | Culture

by News Room
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Neil Young performing at the Farm Aid festival, in Noblesville, Indiana, on September 23, 2023.Gary Miller (Getty Images)

After two years, Neil Young (Toronto, Canada, 78 years old) gives up his battle with Spotify. The Canadian rocker will once again offer his discography in the Swedish company’s catalogue. This is what he announced a few hours ago, although as of the publication of this article the return had not yet been completed. Many fans of good music will show their happiness at being able to listen to masterpieces like Harvest, Tonight’s the Night o Ragged Glory on the platform with the most subscribers. However, a certain grimace of bitterness will be reflected on some faces: the only star that had faced the giant of the streaming, Accused by many artists of stinginess when it comes to distributing royalty money and for rewarding commercial musicians above all, he has ended up kneeling.

The reason Young left was, however, not economic, but ideological, and that made his crusade all the more heroic. He left in January 2022 in protest of Joe Rogan, a communicator accused of spreading misinformation about covid vaccines through a podcast hosted on Spotify. Young was not alone. A group of 300 scientists and doctors issued a statement in which he was blunt: “Rogan’s false information can create health problems of devastating proportions and Spotify is responsible for allowing it.” Young posed a question to the platform: either you get rid of Rogan or I take my music somewhere else. The Swedes opted for Rogan, who was also the author of the podcast most listened to then and today. Joni Mitchell also left the platform in solidarity with her fellow musician.

Why does the musician return then? Has Spotify fired Rogan? He hasn’t done it, but the communicator has asked for forgiveness and moderated his speech? The answers are no, no and no. “My decision to return has to do with the fact that Apple and Amazon music services have begun to broadcast the same songs.” podcast of misinformation that I opposed on Spotify. I simply can’t leave Apple and Amazon, like I did with Spotify, because my music would have very few springs. streaming”, says the musician in a statement. The reading seems to be clear: Logan has won the battle. Also economic: there is talk of an agreement of 250 million euros for Apple, YouTube and Amazon to broadcast the controversial The Joe Rogan Experience.

Young’s statement comes with a recommendation for Spotify: “I’ve returned in hopes that the sound quality will improve and people will be able to hear and feel all the music the way we made it. I hope all of you, millions of Spotify users, enjoy my songs. Now they will all be there for you, but without the complete sound with which we created them. Hopefully, Spotify will turn to high resolution as an answer. Spotify, you can do it!”

When Young left Spotify two years ago, fans of his music nervously went to his storage rooms to see if that vinyl of Harvest that they lent two decades ago they had returned it; or if the compact Living With War It was in the package that was sold to the thrift store. Since then, these fans They have been enjoying the rocker’s songs as they did before: with the folder in their hands and in an act of exciting intimacy and concentration. In a few hours, you will be able to return your vinyl to the storage room and return to the application of streaming of the mobile. “We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from his Spotify, but we hope to welcome him back soon,” Daniel Ek, head of Spotify, said two years ago. Today, Ek will spend the day with a smiling face.

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