A 60-minute stream of Prince’s gig in Baltimore this weekend was made available on Tidal – but not just for subscribers. That set it apart from previous webcasts by Jack White and J Cole, which were behind the service’s paywall. In Prince’s case, that’s perhaps no surprise: he was playing “to be a catalyst for pause and reflection following the outpouring of violence” following the death in police custody in Baltimore of a young black man called Freddie Gray,
which has since sparked protests across the US. Hence the free stream: “I am honoured to join Prince in his mission to inspire through the uniting power of music and be able to offer a platform where this moment can be shared globally,” as Tidal co-owner Jay Z put it. Finding the widest possible audience was also the reason Prince uploaded his new track inspired by Gray’s death, ‘Baltimore’, to SoundCloud – his first upload to the service.