Canadian singer-songwriter, musician, producer and director Neil Young has called out Google along with other major tech companies for profiting off of links to piracy sites.
In a new essay posted on his website, the Grammy winning singer wrote, “Young artists today, great authors, songwriters and musicians at the beginning of their creative output, are challenged to make ends meet in the digital world, a world where the artist is paid last, if at all, by the Tech Giants. This came to mind somehow today, listening to Broken Arrow, an album I made with Crazy Horse about twenty years ago, in 1996.”
Reflecting on the lyrics of “Music Arcade” and how it paved his way forward, Young wrote, “Those lyrics from “Music Arcade” are kind of how I felt at the time. 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?” Young asks.
The 72-year-old musician has been a fierce critic of online music services in the past. After hearing complaints about the poor sound quality of his songs in streaming services, the singer pulled his music from streaming platforms in 2015.