While the prohibitive costs of the necessary music licenses has made launching a new streaming service next to impossible, Neil Young is trying a different approach by rolling out a platform that only offers his own music, in joint venture with Warner music that might actually be successful.
Guest post by Bobby Owsinski of Music 3.0
Trying to launch a streaming service these days is insanely difficult due to the fact that in order to get any sort of catalog together, music licenses that are prohibitively expensive are required. But what if an artist only featured his or her work on the service? That’s exactly what Neil Young is doing with his Neil Young Archives (NYA) , a joint venture with Warner Music that includes audio and visual content spanning Young’s entire musical life. This is an idea that actually might have some legs for both Young and other legacy artists as well.
NYA will cost $1.99 per month or $19.99 for a full year, which gets the user hi-resolution streams of Young’s entire recorded catalog, as well as materials related to his music, movies, videos, books, photographs, manuscripts and press notes. It’s available via his website and an iOS app (there’s an Android version coming soon), and also includes perks like first choice on concert tickets, livestreams of live shows, early access to new and unreleased music, and full access to Young’s personal news outlet, the NYA Times Contrarian. There’s also a free version that’s much more limited, but at $1.99 a month the price is certainly right for any fan.
The service uses technology developed by Young and OraStream that they’re calling Xstream by NYA, which is capable of streaming at the original quality of master recordings in much higher resolution than other streaming services.
After Young’s failed Pono hi-res service and player of a few years ago we thought that we’d seen the last of his ventures into the digital world, but NYA is a pretty good idea for any artist with an extensive fanbase and rights to their catalog. One of the advantages of an artist-owned service is that they can charge whatever they want, which the major streaming services like Apply Music and Spotify cannot do. That said, with full access all the time, will even true fans get tired of it after a while?