Global superstar Prince has pulled his music from a number of online streaming services including Spotify and Apple’s new service, Apple Music. The BBC reports that Prince has asked for his music to be removed from all subscription-based streaming services with the exception of Jay Z’s troubled Tidal platform.
A message on Prince’s Spotify page says simply “Prince has asked all streaming services to remove his catalogue. We have cooperated with the request, and hope to bring his music back as soon as possible.” At present, Prince has offered no explanation for the unexpected move. Prince’s albums can still be bought from Apple’s iTunes service, but cannot be streamed on the recently launched Apple Music streaming service.
Prince’s music is still available on Jay Z’s Tidal service, which recently streamed much of Prince’s Baltimore peace concert, held in the wake of the death of an African American man in police custody.
The Guardian points out that Prince has always had a troubled relationship with technology and with the internet in particular. Back in 2011, Prince told the Guardian that he hated the digitization of music and not just because of the problem of piracy.
“I personally can’t stand digital music. 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.”
Prince is one of the worlds most successful musicians; the 57-year-old has sold over 100 million albums worldwide, but is renowned for being somewhat erratic. Prince was an early supporter of digital music, but later voiced his opposition to it and even went so far as to release an album as a free give-away in European newspapers as a protest against internet piracy.
Prince has long been regarded as a musician who does exactly as he pleases whether or not it is logical or makes commercial sense. Some years ago, Prince announced he wished to be known as an indefinable squiggle and became labelled “the artist formally known as Prince.”
Prince’s withdrawal from streaming services comes at the same time as he released a new track, “Hardrocklover” on his Soundcloud service. Whilst there has been no comment from Prince or his management team about the withdrawal from all streaming services except Tidal, it could be that the move is designed to provide a boost to the number of subscribers on Tidal.
Prince is one of Tidal’s high profile supporters, but the service has struggled to attract subscribers, probably because it costs twice as much as the other services in the same market.
Do Inquisitr readers think that Prince is a big enough name to draw subscribers away from Spotify and Apple? Can Prince save Tidal? Let us know what you think.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]