Neil Young reveals streaming service Xstream - that will offer music in 'as high quality as your internet can handle'

Canadian artist says 'all songs should cost the same, regardless of digital resolution'

Roisin O'Connor
Music Correspondent
Monday 24 April 2017 08:42
Neil Young has announced plans for his new streaming service
Neil Young has announced plans for his new streaming service

Neil Young has challenged Jay Z and Tidal by announcing that his company Pono has just finalised its own hi-fi streaming service: Xstream [seriously].

According to CBC, a post on the Pono website - which has been offline since July 2016 - by the Canadian artist reads: "I'm still trying to make the case for bringing you the best music possible, at a reasonable price, the same message we brought to you five years ago.

"I don't know if we will succeed, but it's still as important to us as it ever was."

Young previously expressed plans to move Pono towards a quality form of hi-res streaming during a wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone.

In this new post he says that he has been working with a small team to look for "alternatives" - "finding a way to deliver the quality music without the expense and to bring it to a larger audience has been our goal".

Xstream will reportedly play "at the highest quality your network condition allows at that moment and adapts as the network conditions change".

Final pricing for the service has yet to be revealed, but Young says he has learned a few lessons after launching Pono in 2014.

"All songs should cost the same, regardless of digital resolution," he wrote. "Let the people decide what they want to listen to without charging them more for true quality.

"That way quality is not an elitist thing. If high-resolution costs more, listeners will just choose the cheaper option and never hear the quality."

Exclaim has pointed out that, coincidentally, 'Xstream' is the name of the fictional streaming company started by Jamal and Hakeem in the show Empire.

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