Neil Young’s streaming numbers are up, even after pulling his music from Spotify

It’s been a couple of weeks since Neil Young pulled his music from Spotify over his distaste of Joe Rogan and his penchant for distributing of COVID misinformation. At the time, he said that he was doing this despite the fact that Spotify was responsible for a big chunk of his income. It was a matter of principle.

So far, hasn’t hurt Neil’s streaming numbers at all. Variety did some number-crunching. I quote:

Prior to Young first making noise about wanting off Spotify on Jan. 24, his daily on-demand streams in both audio and visual formats were tallying somewhere between a low of 550,000 and a high of 715,000, usually reliably landing in the 600,000s each day.

The day after news of his ultimatum to Spotify broke, his total streams rose dramatically from 619,000 to 860,000, and the day after that, sharply again to 1,005,000 — but some of those listens were presumably on Spotify, which hadn’t yet removed all his music from the service. So maybe, you could argue, some of that rising tally was from Spotify-only consumers wanting to literally get some last licks in.

Yet his numbers continued to rise after Spotify successfully cleared out his archives from its catalog. On Jan. 28, with listeners now being diverted to Amazon Music, Apple Music, Tidal and other services, he reached a peak-to-date of 983,000, followed by his surpassing the million-stream mark for a second time on Jan. 29, with 1,020,000 streams, which stands as his high-water mark.

Will this last? We’ll see.

Meanwhile, there’s a report that says the number of people visiting the Spotify page where they’re supposed to cancel their membership has gone up 200%. And that was before the Rogan N-word controversy broke.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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