Following the shocking death of pop star and musical icon Prince, music fans who use streaming services are discovering that his music is unavailable on the largest streamers such as Spotify, Apple Music and Google Play Music. Prince has an exclusive streaming deal with Tidal, which is currently the only streaming service where his music is available on demand.
It looks as if Tidal has hit pay dirt again because of one of its exclusive artist relationships, this time with pop star Prince, who shocked the world with his untimely death this week. The superstar's demise is being reported as possibly related to a drug overdose, but regardless of the reason behind it, music fans are mourning Prince's death worldwide by playing and remembering some of the greatest songs from his catalog.
Many of those fans, however, are disappointed to find that their streaming service of choice is not offering most or all of Prince's music. That's because in July 2015, Prince pulled his music from all streaming services, including Spotify, Apple Music, SoundCloud, YouTube, Deezer and others. Prince was notoriously against many of these services, having stated last November in an interview that the Internet is "over for anyone who wants to get paid ... tell me a musician who's got rich off digital sales. Apple's doing pretty good though, right?"
The one streaming service that was supported by Prince, however, was artist-friendly Tidal, and Prince, unlike Kanye West who recently reneged on his vow to make his new The Life Of Pablo CD a permanent exclusive to the streamer, stuck to his guns, which means that now, even posthumously, Tidal is the only streamer to carry most of Prince's catalog.
Tidal's Prince page was updated to announce the following:
"A genius, innovator, creator, family member, Prince will be truly missed. He shared his creative vision and asked for nothing in return. With heavy hearts - prayers and blessings go to all those around the world that share the same love as us. LET'S CELEBRATE A LEGEND."
While Prince tracks can only be streamed via Tidal, his music can still be purchased for permanent download from iTunes, Amazon and Google Play and can also be heard on Pandora and iHeart Radio, which can play any artist's music due to their lack of on-demand functionality.