Prince is having the sort of big news day music fans would normally associate with 1993, blouses, and unpronounceable symbols; having already dropped a new track on the world this morning, it’s now been discovered that the prolific musician has functionally declared sides in the current music streaming war, pulling his albums off of every major service, save one: the Jay-Z fronted Tidal.
A long-time warrior on the front lines of the fight between musicians and the industry that supports and controls them, Prince previously threw his lot in with the artist-owned service back in May, when he announced that he’d be streaming his “Rally 4 Peace” show in Baltimore live for Tidal listeners. Now, anyone who wants to kick their party up a notch by streaming “1999” or “Purple Rain” will need to shell out $9.99 for a Tidal subscription (or $19.99 for the service’s signature loss-free audio formatting, which will definitely be noticeable for a horde of drunk people looking for something to shout along to).
Music industry observers had already noticed that Prince’s music was absent from Apple Music (along with The Black Keys and The Beatles), while Spotify now displays this message when users navigate to the artist’s page:
“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.”
(Meanwhile, Purple Rain, at least, is still streaming semi-randomly on Pandora, which probably says as much about Pandora’s current also-ran status as it does about Prince.)