Since the retirement of his music, Young’s music sales and streaming royalties have increased. Now he is targeting investment banks to fund the fossil fuel industry.
Singer/songwriter Neil Young has continued his attack on music streaming giant Spotify for promulgating Covid misinformation and is now chastising investment banks for funding fossil fuel excavation.
Earlier this month, Young asked his manager to remove his music from the platform to protest a Joe Rogan podcast on Spotify that Young said spread “false information about vaccines”.
Young’s stand was quickly followed by fellow Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, former bandmates Graham Nash and David Crosby as well as many other well-established artists of a certain vintage, such as Nils Lofgren, former member of Crazy Horse (who supported Young on several albums) and currently guitarist for Bruce Springsteen’s E-street band.
READ Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited caught in the crossfire Neil Young/Spotify
Rolling Stone magazine reports that there has been a surge in sales of Young’s music and the airplay of his music on other streaming sites since he issued his ultimatum.
According to market research group MRC Data, for the period from January 27 to February 3, Young saw a 4% increase in on-demand streaming numbers while sales of his albums rose 80% from to the previous week.
Apple Music, which runs a rival music streaming platform, has taken advantage of Spotify’s embarrassment by launching a new marketing campaign heavily featuring the grumpy Canadian (Young has occasionally taken to assuring members of the public during his live broadcasts that, contrary to appearances, he is actually having fun on stage).
Joni Mitchell saw her streaming numbers increase by 32%; sales of his albums (in physical form, i.e. vinyl, CD and given the age of his target audience, most likely cassette or 8-track cartridge) increased by 125% while digital downloads climbed 193%.
Perhaps encouraged by this, Young is now taking a stand against the banks – not insisting that his manager take all of Young’s money away from them, but calling on people to take their money out of banks that fund fossil fuels. .
Young’s website specifically named JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) and Wells Fargo as “damages.”
Young, who recorded an entire album – The Monsanto Years – which criticized Monsanto agribusiness, is clearly still a protest singer at heart.
Its attack on Spotify wiped a few billion dollars from the Swedish music streaming service’s market valuation and prompted the company’s chief executive, Daniel Ek, to defend free speech rights as the company slammed committed to continuing to host the Joe Rogan. podcast, which is his most listened to asset and for which he reportedly paid US$100 million in 2020 to secure the rights.
“I say Daniel Ek is your big deal – not Joe Rogan. Get out of this place before it eats your soul,” Young advised Spotify employees.