(AllHipHop News) As the world continues to recover after yesterday’s bombshell news that iconic musician Prince passed away, fans naturally have been searching for ways to listen to the legendary artist.
But while millions of people use Spotify and Apple Music for streaming, Prince was a pioneer in music publishing rights and technology for musicians and pulled his music from Spotify and other streaming services in July of 2015, only leaving TIDAL with rights to the music, this according to Forbes.
“Prince’s publisher has asked all streaming services to remove his catalog. We have cooperated with the request, and hope to bring his music back as soon as possible,” said Spotify from Prince’s Spotify page back in July of 2015.
Currently Spotify fans have access to only one song called, “Stare” which now has 5,278,826 plays at the time of print.
Pandora, Apple Music, Vevo, Rhapsody, Rdio also do not have Prince’s music via their streaming services, although Prince’s music is available for purchase on iTunes where it is currently front and center at the top of iTunes.
According to Forbes, TIDAL offers over 75 % of revenue to artists while Apple Music offers 71.5 % and Spotify 70 %.
“We made money [online] before piracy was real crazy. Nobody’s making money now except phone companies, Apple and Google I’m supposed to go to the White House to talk about copyright protection. It’s like the gold rush out there. Or a carjacking. There’s no boundaries. I’ve been in meetings and they’ll tell you, Prince, you don’t understand, it’s dog-eat-dog out there. So I’ll just hold off on recording,” Prince told the Guardian in 2011.
“I personally can’t stand digital music,” he added during the 2011 interview with the Guardian. “You’re getting sound in bits. It affects a different place in your brain. When you play it back, you can’t feel anything. We’re analogue people, not digital.”
The book Prince: Chaos, Disorder, and Revolution by Jason Draper also talks about Prince’s battle for his music rights.
“During the 90s he waged war against his record label, Warner Bros, changed his name to an unpronounced symbol, and pronounced himself a slave to the system.”
Examining Prince’s catalog, Prince’s first 6 albums were released on Warner, after which his next 10 albums were released on Warner Bros. / Paisley Park, or Paisley Park exclusively.
“[Prince] was the first artist to release a whole album online via his own self-financed record label, and has continued to seek out new ways to release and promote his music, even go so far as to give it away for free. His fight for artists’ rights has shown future generation that they don’t have to adhere to anyone else’s rules and shown how one man can stay relevant for more than 30 years on the strength of a passion to challenge the status quo and change the way things are done.”
While we don’t know exactly what Prince would have wanted, Variety noted that Prince Tweeted his “Purple Pick of the Week” on Tidal in one of his last Tweets and last year Prince released the HITNRUN album series exclusively on Tidal which includes nearly 300 songs.
Yesterday within hours of the breaking news Jay Z’s Tidal Tweeted, “A genius, innovator, creator, family member, Prince will be truly missed. http://tidal.com/prince”
— TIDAL (@TIDAL) April 21, 2016
Since the tributary Tweet, AppleInsider.com has since regarded the Tweet as an opportunity to capitalize off of Prince’s catalog, despite the fact that Apple Company accounts also took the time to honor Prince.
— Beats 1 (@Beats1) April 22, 2016