Neil Young relents on streaming


New York (AFP)

Folk rock icon Neil Young has relented and returned his music to leading streaming sites, a year after declaring that the fast-growing format was grating to his ears.

The vast catalog of the prolific 70-year-old rocker including his latest, the hard-charging environmental album "Earth," was available as of Friday on leading streaming site Spotify and rivals such as Apple Music.

Young had previously streamed his music only on Tidal, the upstart service led by rap mogul Jay Z that boasts of higher-quality audio files than most rivals.

The Canadian rocker in July 2015 said he wanted nothing to do with streaming as even old cassettes sounded better.

"Streaming sucks. Streaming is the worst audio in history. If you want it, you got it. It's here to stay," Young wrote on Facebook.

Young, who once developed his own niche high-quality portable player Pono, did not immediately comment on his turnaround.

Streaming -- which allows unlimited, on-demand music online -- has been rapidly growing and the number of artists who resist it is dwindling.

Music of The Beatles -- the most prominent holdouts -- went onto all major streaming sites on Christmas Eve last year.

Country superstar Garth Brooks, another opponent of streaming, recently signed an exclusive deal with retail behemoth Amazon's new streaming service.

Prominent artists who still refuse to stream their work include heartland rocker Bob Seger, experimental metal band Tool and English progressive rock veterans King Crimson.

The global music industry last year saw its first substantive growth since the dawn of the internet age thanks to streaming, although many artists say not enough of the revenue goes back to them.