Prince and Taylor Swift have something in common. Fans can’t listen to either artist’s music on Spotify or any streaming service that has a free tier. That’s right, Prince literally pulled a Taylor Swift by pulling his own music catalog from the popular online streaming service.
According to Spotify, Prince said his publisher “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.”
Prince didn’t just pull his music catalog from Spotify. He also removed it from other streaming services such as Deezer and Rdio. The musician, who notoriously removed his music from YouTube, still has his music available on Google Music Play and Tidal, both services which don’t offer a free tier. However, unlike Swift, Prince’s music isn’t available on Apple Music, which launched earlier this week. According to Prince’s reps, he has no interest on making his music available on the new streaming service as of this moment.
Prince’s latest move doesn’t come as a shock to fans. Not only did he remove his music from YouTube last year, but also hit back at music streaming services on his Twitter account. Last month, Prince tweeted a link to an article on the The Daily Beast that reported about how record labels co-own 20 percent of Spotify’s shares.
Prince also included a quote from the passage that read that record labels “pay themselves twice while reducing what is owed to artists from pennies on the dollar to fractions of pennies on the dollar.”
According to a previous report on the New York Times, the 57-year-old musician has been “a longtime advocate for artists’ rights, particularly his own.” Meanwhile, the Star Tribune noted that Prince is “super-protective of his music, videos, and even image.”
Sound familiar? Taylor Swift has created a lot of headlines lately, mostly for protecting her music and her image. The singer pulled her music catalog from Spotify in November of 2014, right before the release of her latest album, 1989. In her interview with TIME magazine, Swift explained the reason why she had her music removed from the free streaming service.
“[People] can still listen to my music if they get it on iTunes. I’m always up for trying something. And I tried it and I didn’t like the way it felt. I think there should be an inherent value placed on art.
“I didn’t see that happening, perception-wise, when I put my music on Spotify. Everybody’s complaining about how music sales are shrinking, but nobody’s changing the way they’re doing things. They keep running towards streaming, which is, for the most part, what has been shrinking the numbers of paid album sales.
“With Beats Music and Rhapsody you have to pay for a premium package in order to access my albums. And that places a perception of value on what I’ve created. On Spotify, they don’t have any settings, or any kind of qualifications for who gets what music. I think that people should feel that there is a value to what musicians have created, and that’s that. I wrote about this in July, I wrote an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. This shouldn’t be news right now. It should have been news in July when I went out and stood up and said I’m against it. And so this is really kind of an old story.”
Taylor has also come under the fire for threatening to sue her fans and Etsy sellers who used her image to make a profit off of their own fan-made merchandise. She’s also been slammed by photographers who claim that her strict contracts are the same as no different than Apple’s policy. Taylor was accused of acting like a “hypocrite” by not letting photographers make a profit off her live concert photos when Apple’s policy originally planned not to pay its artists during the three-month trial period.
Prince has also come under fire for his strict contracts with photographers. Like Swift, he refuses others to make a profit off his photos and image. What are your thoughts on Prince’s decision to remove his music from Spotify and other streaming services? Will you miss his music? Share your thoughts below in the comments section.