Neil Young worries about how young artists can survive in the digital age.
Here’s what Young recently blasted on his site, Neil Young Archives (note all CAPS, special spellings, etc. intact):
“Today, in the age of Facebook, GOOGLE, and Amazon, it’s hard to tell how a new and growing musical artist could make it in the way we did. The Tech Giants have figured out a way to use all the great music of everyone from all time, without reporting an artist’s number of plays or paying a fucking cent to the musicians. Aren’t they great companies!!! It makes you wonder where the next generation of artists will come from. How will they survive?
“‘Don’t be Evil.’ That was GOOGLE’s corporate motto as they directed users to pirate sites to get artist’s creations and not pay!! Amazing tech breakthrough!! Meanwhile, they reap the bucks from ads people read while listening to music made by the artists. GOOGLE just changed their motto to ‘Do the Right Thing,’ but haven’t changed anything else as they continue to rip off the artist community, building their wealth on music’s back and paying nothing to the artists. WOW! Brilliant tech breakthrough! BTW, GOOGLE is YOU TUBE. Guess who’s next?
“I am so happy to be able to share my music and albums like Broken Arrow with you here at NYA, where you can actually hear what we did. Xstream high resolution music makes me feel like I was there. I hope you can feel it too. The more you enjoy this music, the happier I am to share it with you. NYA is moving into a future that is really different from what we have now. It will not be easy. We are going to break a few rules and give you want you want.”
As mentioned, the Canadian rock legend is launching a high-end streaming service called Xstream.
The service will be ‘adaptive,’ meaning stream qualities adapt to the available bandwidth. It will likely cost more, but also likely compensate artists better.
Sounds interesting, though Young is likely experiencing difficulty with funding this time around. His previous hi-res venture, Pono, raised millions across both crowdfunding and private investment, but ultimately cratered.