2016 can do one already. The news of Prince’s death at the age of 57 today has knocked us for six. Not an uncommon feeling, judging from the heartfelt tributes in our Twitter and Facebook feeds.
We’ve written a fair bit about Prince over the last decade: both positive and negative. He was one of the most forward-thinking artists, exploring new ways to release his music (both digital and physical – remember his newspaper-covermounted album?). Yet he could also be frustrating: filing takedowns for fan-shot clips of (amazing) gigs, for example.
With our focus on digital music and the music industry, we never got to write about Prince’s actual music: his recordings and incendiary live performances. But we did get to write about his interactions with the digital realm – yes, sometimes in frustration, but at other times in admiration for his willingness to experiment – and in recent times, his playfulness in the social media world.
Here, with no editing, is everything we’ve written in our daily bulletin about Prince since the summer of 2007, from his newspaper giveaway to his recent Tidal partnerships. Not a tribute, exactly – this misses out the key thing, the actual music – but a snapshot of the role Prince played in the most recent transition of the music industry.
We will miss him.
28 June 2007
O2 offers Prince single for free
In the run-up to Prince’s series of gigs at The O2 Arena in London this summer, O2 is offering his new single `Guitar’ to customers as a free download for the next week. The file can be played on PCs or mobile phones, and is available from O2’s Blueroom website. In an interesting comment on the way music is evolving, O2 may be giving the full-track away, but it’s still charging £1.50 for the official `Guitar’ ringtone.
2 July 2007
Now Prince is giving away his new album
Traditional UK high-street music retailers have been struggling with the implications of digital distribution and piracy for years now, with UK chain Fopp the latest casualty. But they’re also facing a challenge from newspaper covermounts, albeit usually offering compilations of archive tracks. However, the challenge just got more serious with the news that Prince plans to give his new album `Planet Earth’ away free with a future issue of the Mail On Sunday newspaper. Entertainment Retailers Association co-chairman Paul Quirk has already threatened that the deal could make Prince “The Artist Formerly Available in Record Stores”, while HMV boss Simon Fox has described the move as “absolutely nuts”. Prince, meanwhile, is presumably thinking about the Mail On Sunday”s 2.27 million readers.
10 July 2007
HMV to sell Mail On Sunday with new Prince album
Prince’s decision to give his new album away with a British newspaper, the Mail On Sunday, provoked an angry reaction from local music retailers. However, that hasn’t stopped them from trying to get a piece of the action. Music chain HMV has announced that it’ll be stocking the newspaper this Sunday, when the album will be covermounted. Rival chain Virgin Megastores has called HMV’s decision “opportunistic”. The Mail On Sunday has a large circulation of 2.27 million readers, although it’s sure to be swelled considerably by the promotion, since the paper’s Middle England readership are hardly Prince’s regular demographic.
13 July 2007
ERA calls for investigation into Prince covermount
The row over Prince’s decision to give his new album away free with a UK newspaper this Sunday is rumbling on. Now the UK Entertainment Retailers Association (ERA) has asked circulation auditing body ABC to investigate whether the Mail On Sunday is hyping its circulation figures with the deal. “We believe that this promotion and others like it potentially distort the accuracy of ABC”s audit in a way which could mislead advertisers and others using of your data,” says ERA’s letter to ABC. “The inescapable conclusion must be that this is a blatant attempt by the MoS to skew its circulation figures,”. However, the ABC has already indicated that it continues to see covermounts as acceptable forms of promotion, so it looks like ERA’s wish for an inquiry won’t be satisfied.
16 July 2007
Prince CDs not going for a song on eBay
So, yesterday more than three million copies of Prince’s new album were given away with UK newspaper the Mail On Sunday. It was predicted that many copies would be snapped up by eBayers keen to make a profit by selling the CD on, since it’s not being sold by any retailers in the UK. However, we tracked a few auctions ending overnight, and it’s fair to say people aren’t retiring on the proceeds – with the CD going for between £2 and £5.51. Considering the Mail On Sunday readership isn’t Prince’s usual demographic, we wouldn’t be surprised to see plenty of copies turning up in charity shops in the coming weeks.
27 July 2007
EFF sues Universal Music after dancing baby vid pulled from YouTube
No, not the Dancing Baby from Ally McBeal (although obviously posting a video of that would be a Serious Copyright Infringement too). Earlier this year, a woman posted a video on YouTube of her toddler dancing to Prince”s ”Let”s Go Crazy”. However, the clip was pulled after Universal threatened legal action. Now, the Electronic Frontier Foundation is taking up arms on the mother”s behalf, suing Universal to protect her fair use and free speech rights. It”s ironic that the song is by Prince, who”s got a more enlightened attitude towards digital music at the moment.
14 September 2007
Prince threatens to sue YouTube, eBay and The Pirate Bay
So much for Prince’s reputation as the most web-friendly music megastar. Now he’s planning to sue YouTube, eBay and The Pirate Bay in an effort to “reclaim the internet” (which at least is an advance on Elton John’s desire to switch it off). Prince has taken on anti-piracy firm Web Sheriff to file the lawsuits, which aim to take unsanctioned Prince videos off YouTube, memorabilia auctions off eBay, and everything else off The Pirate Bay. Web Sheriff boss John Giacobbi is certainly bullish about the plans: “”Prince doesn”t really want to go around suing people – he”d much rather people just respected his rights. He will be victorious.”
7 November 2007
Prince fans rebel at copyright demands
How to make your fans happy: send them cease and desist letters demanding they take down any photos, images, lyrics, album covers and other content linked to your likeness. That”s what Prince”s lawyers have been doing, with the letters even demanding that the fansites provide “substantive details of the means by which you propose to compensate our clients for damages”. Because he”s short of a few bob, obviously. Now the worm has turned though: fans have set up a body called Prince Fans United to campaign against the heavy-handed legal tactics.
12 November 2007
Prince sets sights on The Pirate Bay, not fans
Prince”s representatives have been firmly denying reports that he plans to sue fan websites for copyright infringement, but it seems the star IS going after bigger online fish, in the form of The Pirate Bay. CNET is reporting that Prince will file lawsuits against the website in the US, France and Sweden (France because copyright laws are more favourable there, and Sweden because it”s where The Pirate Bay is based). The story also suggests that Prince plans to also sue companies who advertise on the website, with the legal action being co-ordinated by copyright-protection firm Web Sheriff. President of the latter firm John Giacobbi says it”s also launching an investigation into The Pirate Bay”s offshore connections, to see if it”s complying with Swedish and international tax laws, claiming that the site generates $70,000 of advertising revenue a month.
3 December 2007
Radiohead and Prince ineligible for Brit Awards
It turns out there is a downside to surfing the digital music zeitgeist after all. Radiohead and Prince won’t be eligible for the Brit Awards next year, as the organisers stipulate that nominated acts must have had a Top 75 UK single or album in the past 16 months. Neither ‘In Rainbows’ or ‘Planet Earth’ charted, due to being self-released online, and given away with the Daily Mail newspaper respectively. Radiohead ARE releasing a physical CD single through traditional channels, but not until January, too late for the nominations deadline. Something tells us neither act will be tearing their hair out at the prospect of a night in come February 20th though.
2 June 2008
Radiohead think Prince is a Creep for YouTube blocking
Poor old Prince: he just can’t win when it comes to online music. Having covered Radiohead’s `Creep’ at the Coachella festival, it was no surprise to find videos of the performance quickly up on YouTube. Sticking to his usual policy, Prince’s management ordered them to be taken down, but have since been slammed by Radiohead. “Really? He’s blocked it? Well, tell him to unblock it. It’s our song!” said Thom Yorke in an interview. The spat does raise the question of who counts as the `copyright owner’ in cases such as this. Ssome versions have survived the takedown – http://tinyurl.com/5k8hsm – but we”d pay good money to watch Radiohead cover ”Gett Off” instead.
Source: Billboard – http://tinyurl.com/65c4zn
26 June 2008
Free tribute album is the latest bugbear for Prince
How does Prince find the time to record new albums, let alone flog them to right-wing Sunday newspapers, when he’s spending so much time suing people? The latest subject of his ire is a Norwegian compilation called `Shockadelica’, which gathered together 81 cover songs of Prince tracks, and was distributed as 5,000 box sets plus digital versions. However, it seems Prince might have a point in this case – he should have been paid around $8 per unit under a compulsory mechanical licence for the covers, but distributor C+C Records says since no one made any money from the project, they didn’t think they had to pay him.
Source: Listening Post – http://tinyurl.com/3tty4q
22 August 2008
UMG suffers setback in YouTube video lawsuit
Labels aren’t having it all their own way when it comes to removing videos from YouTube that feature their copyrighted music. Earlier this year, UMG tried to get a clip removed from YouTube which featured someone’s baby dancing to Prince’s `Let’s Go Crazy’. The mother responsible joined up with the Electronics Frontier Foundation to sue UMG for allegedly abusing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) in making its takedown request. It was dismissed, but she filed another complaint – and although UMG asked the judge in the case to dismiss that too, he’s just refused, saying that UMG must take into account `fair use’ principles in situations like this. The case will now go ahead to decide how exactly that should be applied.
Source: Billboard – http://tinyurl.com/69vfxp
5 January 2009
Prince signing retailer deal for three albums in 2009
Befitting his status as an artist not overly worried about quantity harming quality, Prince is reportedly working on three separate albums for release this year. Not through a label (or through the Mail on Sunday newspaper), but through a deal with a major US retailer that”s at the “final negotiations” stage according to BBC News. Presumably Wal-Mart, Target or Best Buy then. The albums will also be made available online. If you”re still interested in his music, by the way, one album will be rocky, another will be 80s/dancey, and the third will sound a bit like Sade.
Source: BBC – http://tinyurl.com/8wblsc
17 March 2009
Prince launches Lotusflow3r subscription service
Prince has launched his own digital subscription service for fans called Lotusflow3r. It costs a whopping $77 a year, with subscribers getting music, exclusive videos, lyrics, artwork and photos. Billboard suggests Prince may also webcast live performances from his home and let fans request specific songs. The service is due to launch on 24 March, and later in the month will begin selling Prince’s new album digitally.
Source: Billboard – http://tinyurl.com/ctqu63
14 April 2009
Prince launches $2,100 branded iPod
Prince is certainly keen to get money out of his diehard fans before they lose interest. Fresh from launching his own subscription service, the star has now started selling the Prince Opus iPod touch for – wait for it – $2,100! It comes with a book of photographs, a live album from his O2 gigs, and 40 minutes of exclusive video footage. Oh, and it’s purple, obviously. Only 950 are available.
Source: Engadget – http://tinyurl.com/clwrnz
1 March 2010
Court rules against UMG in dancing baby YouTube case
Remember that controversy around the YouTube video with a toddler dancing to Prince’s Let’s Go Crazy? It was famously the subject of a takedown notice filed by UMG in 2007, fuelling a debate around what is and isn’t fair use when it comes to background music in user generated videos. Three years later, the case is finally coming to a close – and not in UMG’s favour. A California district judge has granted partial summary judgement to Stephanie Lenz, who uploaded the clip. She’ll now be able to file for the legal fees she incurred when fighting the takedown.
Source: Reuters – http://tinyurl.com/yhwdoz4
31 March 2010
Prince slammed for charging fans with cancelled fanclub memberships
This broke last week, but is picking up steam online as more sites link to it. Music blogger Steven Anthony has fired a furious broadside at Prince, after he was charged $77 for another year’s access to the star’s LotusFlow3r online fanclub – despite having cancelled his membership months ago. He’s also criticised the lacklustre content available during the first year: “A spinning orb of videos, three albums (which were available at Target for less than $12), four “new” streaming tracks and if fans were lucky, they actually received the t-shirt you promised”. The fanclub’s development team have since promised refunds for every member who was billed automatically for a second year.
Source: TheMusictionary – http://tinyurl.com/yjanfv4
30 June 2010
Prince goes with print media (again) for new album
Having famously given away his Planet Earth album with a UK newspaper in 2007, Prince is at it again. His next release, 20Ten, will be distributed as a covermount with Rolling Stone’s German edition, and Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. In Germany, the album won’t be available (legally) anywhere else, either in physical or digital form. No deals have yet been inked for other countries.
Source: Guardian – http://tinyurl.com/26k2nov
6 July 2010
Prince – ‘The internet’s completely over’
Why is Prince going with newspaper covermounts as the main distribution channel for his music? It’s become (marginally) clearer from an interview with the Daily Mirror, which will be giving away his next album in the UK. “The internet’s completely over. I don’t see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won’t pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can’t get it. The internet’s like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good…”
Source: Mirror – http://tinyurl.com/33dmp7j
16 July 2010
Prince’s 20ten newspaper giveaway not fuelling piracy
When Prince announced plans to distribute his new album 20ten solely through newspaper covermounts, numerous experts said this would merely boost the number of people sharing the album on BitTorrent and cyberlocker services. So has it? Er, no. We asked BigChampagne CEO Eric Garland what activity his firm has tracked around 20ten, and he told us it’s been “a real underachiever on P2P – album downloads in the thousands and counting”, and that even on the locker services there’s “very little activity”. The slightly depressing conclusion (for Prince) is that even filesharers weren’t that fussed about his new opus.
Source: Music Ally Blog – http://tinyurl.com/3xdn9uk
24 June 2011
Prince still (purple) raining on digital music’s parade
Well, that’s an understatement. “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,” he tells the Guardian in a rare interview, claiming also that he won’t record a new album due to piracy. “The industry changed. We made money [online] before piracy was real crazy. Nobody’s making money now except phone companies, Apple and Google. I’m supposed to go to the White House to talk about copyright protection. It’s like the gold rush out there. Or a carjacking. There’s no boundaries. I’ve been in meetings and they’ll tell you, Prince, you don’t understand, it’s dog-eat-dog out there. So I’ll just hold off on recording.”
Source: Guardian – http://tinyurl.com/65pwpbp
25 January 2013
Let’s Go Crazy YouTube clip row set for court
Remember the rumpus back in 2007 over a YouTube video of a toddler dancing to Prince’s ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ that was removed after a copyright takedown request? It’s not ancient history: in fact, the case could be going to court in the near future. CNET reports that a US district judge has ruled that YouTube user Stephanie Lenz will have her day in court against Universal Music Group if the two parties don’t settle beforehand: the case won’t be decided by summary judgement. It all comes down to whether the Prince song in the background counts as fair use or not: “As the Ninth Circuit recently has observed, the process of making a fair use determination ‘is neither a mechanistic exercise nor a gestalt undertaking, but a considered legal judgment’,” explained judge Jeremy Fogel.
Source: CNET – http://tinyurl.com/ajyyovl
3 April 2013
Prince’s NPG Records files takedown notices against Vine
Oh, Prince. He’s famously unhappy about fans uploading videos of his gigs to YouTube, and now it appears Twitter’s Vine app is just as annoying. Prince’s NPG Records has filed a DMCA takedown notice with Vine to remove eight video clips. “These are unauthorized recordings and are unauthorized synchronizations
As such, I have a good faith belief that use of the copyrighted work described above is not authorized by the copyright owner,” explains the copyright infringement notice, which has been published on the Chilling Effects website. All eight clips have since been removed from Vine, which is a shame, because we’d be fascinated to know if they were live clips (e.g. shot at his recent SXSW gig) or regular user-generated videos with Prince’s music playing in the background. If the former, the thought of six-second clips shot at concerts (a big use for Vine) as copyright-infringing is quite a thought.
Source: Chilling Effects – http://tinyurl.com/ctuzd5c
Source: TheNextWeb – http://tinyurl.com/cju9egj
5 April 2013
‘Infringing’ Prince Vine clip republished by Techdirt
When we reported on the DMCA takedowns of eight Vine clips by Prince’s NPG Records, we wondered whether they were live videos. It’s now emerged that one of them most certainly is: a six-second clip of Prince and his band jamming during his SXSW gig. Well, we say ‘clip’ – it’s a set of one-second clips auto-edited together, as you can on Vine, by fan Zack Teibloom. Tech blog Techdirt is exceedingly unimpressed, to the point of uploading the video to YouTube to prove its point: “We believe, strongly, that NPG’s takedown notice is faulty, and it’s quite possible that it violated 512(f) of the DMCA in that it appears NPG knowingly misrepresented that the works were infringing,” it explains. “The clip is a mere six seconds long, showing five disjointed clips of a song. If we were to do a four factors test for Teibloom’s original use, it seems clear that it is fair use.” Is that true? There’s not even a jury yet to be out on the matter. For now, it’ll be down to Twitter and individual Vine users to react to takedown requests. Let’s be honest though: most artists who aren’t Prince would welcome these kinds of clips, not try to squash them.
Source: Techdirt – http://tinyurl.com/bnw7kvr
9 May 2013
EFF puts Prince into its ‘Takedown Hall of Shame’
Prince isn’t the biggest fan of user-generated content, it’s fair to say, with his team historically maintaining an aggressive approach to takedowns on YouTube (and, more recently, Vine). But it’s also fair to say that digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation isn’t the biggest fan of Prince. The EFF inducted him this week into its Takedown Hall of Shame, creating a special ‘Raspberry Beret Lifetime Aggrievement Award’ just for Prince. “Prince has shown time and again that he’s willing to abuse copyright law in an attempt to recklessly impede free speech,” says the EFF in its announcement, citing the recent Vine takedowns, a previous spat with Radiohead over YouTube videos of Prince covering their song ‘Creep’, and most infamously the Lenz v. Universal lawsuit over a 29-second YouTube video of a baby dancing to ‘Let’s Go Crazy’. “We’ve already inducted Universal Music into the Hall of Shame for their role in that particular takedown, but Prince deserves a special mention,” says the EFF.
Source: EFF – http://tinyurl.com/cxvaygp
21 May 2013
Prince inks deal with Kobalt Music Group
Kobalt’s Label Services division has a high-profile new client: Prince. He’s announced plans to partner with Kobalt Music Group to release his own material, as well as that of new artists, using Kobalt’s label services for marketing and distribution. Prince, meanwhile, will be handling the artist development and recording for the new artists signed through the deal. Prince is the most high-profile artist yet to throw in his lot with Kobalt’s Label Services division. Earlier this year, it ran a widely-acclaimed distribution campaign for Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ ‘Push The Sky Away’, before signing up the Pet Shop Boys’ next album. Prince should make for an interesting client: he’s been one of the pioneers in finding new ways to distribute his music to fans, yet has also been embroiled in a number of controversies around digital services – most recently involving takedown notices sent to Twitter for clips of his SXSW gig posted using its Vine app.
Source: Music Ally Blog – http://tinyurl.com/og4eozs
14 August 2013
Prince gets on Twitter, but will he take down his own video?
Prince isn’t quite the latest big music star to join Twitter – he doesn’t have his own account – but he’s certainly dipping his toes in the water. Early this morning, Prince posted a series of tweets from the official account of his latest band 3rd Eye Girl. Sadly not before being told about the existence of a Caps-Lock key. “PRINCE’S 1ST TWEET… TESTING 1, 2…” was followed by “PRINCE’S 2ND TWEET.” and then (learning fast) a picture of his dinner (“PRINCE’S 3RD TWEET: DID EYE ADD 2 MUCH PEPPER?”). He went on to show a self-mocking sense of humour by posting a link to a YouTube video of 3rd Eye Girl performing (“CATCH THIS NOW B4 MY LAWYERS DEW”), ending with “1st selfie” (albeit one without, in fact, Prince appearing in the picture). “Ps. Yes, that is Prince is tweeting through @3rdeyegirl,” confirmed Twitter’s head of artist and industry relations for music Tatiana Simonian. And if you’re wondering, the live video was from an official 3rd Eye Girl YouTube account, so we’re assuming that Prince’s lawyers won’t be needing their takedown banhammer.
Source: 3rd Eye Girl – https://twitter.com/3rdeyegirl
Source: Tatiana Simonian – http://tinyurl.com/ns9pttp
28 January 2014
Prince sues bootleg-linkers with $1m-a-head copyright infringement lawsuits
‘Prince sues own fans’ is the common line in reports of the 22 lawsuits filed by Prince against Facebook users and blog owners yesterday, with each facing a damages claim of $1m for sharing links to his live performances online. “The Defendants in this case engage in massive infringement and bootlegging of Prince’s material,” explains the lawsuit. “For example, in just one of the many takedown notices sent to Google with respect to Doe 2 (aka DaBang319), Prince identified 363 separate infringing links to file sharing services, with each link often containing copies of bootlegged performances of multiple separate musical compositions.” Silly Prince, suing fans never ends well, when will he learn to embrace the social, sharing economy etc etc. A counter view, though, is that the lawsuits are less frivolous than, say, going on the warpath over short Vine videos shot at concerts. The usernames of the bloggers – WorldOfBootleg, TheUltimateBootlegExperience, NPRUniverse etc – hints at more organised link-sharing sites. In other words, Prince isn’t suing fans for sharing a single link to a live video, as some stories might have you believe: he’s going after sites and Facebook Pages sharing hundreds. We’re still not sure it ends well though: proving that the star’s income has been damaged may be tough, although we suspect he’s not concerned at all about negative publicity.
Source: TorrentFreak – http://tinyurl.com/nwwao6d
30 January 2014
Prince drops lawsuits against bootleg-linkers
Well, that was short-lived. Prince filed lawsuits against 22 people for linking to footage of his gigs online earlier this month, but now the legal action is being dropped. TMZ reported yesterday that the star’s legal team filed documents to dismiss the cases without prejudice, although that means the path is clear to return to them at a later date if desired. “Because of the recent pressure, the bootleggers have now taken down the illegal downloads and are no longer engaging in piracy,” claimed a statement from his attorney. “We recognise the fans craving for as much material as possible, but we’d prefer they get it from us directly than from third parties who are scalpers rather than real fans of our work.” Talking of which… the news broke just after Prince launched a teaser video on YouTube for a new track by his 3rdEyeGirl band called PRETZELBODYLOGIC, with journalists encouraged to “share and embed” the video.
Source: TMZ – http://tinyurl.com/kurv39k
Source: YouTube – http://tinyurl.com/pr3k3cz
2 October 2014
Ask Prince anything on Facebook. Just don’t expect him to answer…
Prince launched an official Facebook page on 30 September, and has quickly bagged 1.7m Likes amid the launch excitement for his two new albums. Even more exciting for those fans: a post on that first day: “Join Prince for an exclusive Q&A on Facebook right here at 12pm PT/ 3PM EST!! Submit your questions below!!!” We’ll charitably suggest that Prince has a bit more work to do if he wants to make the most of social media though: with 4,214 questions on the post, he has so far answered… one of them: a curious question asking him to “address the importance of ALL music being tuned to 432hz sound frequencies” which Prince responded to with a link to a website explaining “Here’s why you should convert your music to 432 Hz”. Perhaps he’ll jump online to respond to a few more this week, but if not, this looks increasingly like a setup for… well, we’re not sure what for, exactly. Nor are the fans who’ve posted questions.
Source: Facebook – http://tinyurl.com/oa7nnel
26 November 2014
Wait! Where did Prince go?
Don’t expect an explanation immediately, but Prince appears to be having a ‘moment’ on social media. The Verge noticed yesterday that his @3rdEyeGirl Twitter account has been deactivated, as has his Facebook page and Instagram account, while all the music has been taken off his SoundCloud account. Meanwhile, the official Prince Vevo channel now has just three videos: the Breakfast Can Wait promo from last year plus a behind-the-scenes video and an “interview” that’s basically a news report of clips from old press conferences. After a year of frenetic activity online and in the real world, Prince’s withdrawal from social media – even if it proves to be temporary – will be getting fans talking once again. Maybe he’s on Yik Yak…
Source: The Verge – http://tinyurl.com/nyk9gje
11 May 2015
Prince turns to Tidal and SoundCloud with new material
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.
Source: The Verge – http://tinyurl.com/n4fqopp
Source: SoundCloud – http://tinyurl.com/ngvebrk
2 July 2015
It’s not just Apple Music that Prince is missing from
Reports yesterday noting that Prince wasn’t available on Apple Music only told part of the story: the star has removed his back catalogue from every streaming service, seemingly, except for Tidal. Whether that indicates an exclusive deal with the latter service or simply Tidal being slower to remove Prince’s back catalogue when asked remains to be seen. In a note on Prince’s profile page on its service, Spotify pointed the finger: “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, the ‘who’s not on Apple Music and why not?’ attention may now switch to Ministry of Sound, whose catalogue is also missing. CEO Lohan Presencer declined to comment when contacted by Music Ally.
Source: Billboard – http://tinyurl.com/p7zcw7s
31 July 2015
Prince puts new track on Spotify despite leaving Spotify; One Direction also put new single on Spotify (and Apple Music)
Funk homunculus Prince took all his music off streaming services, except Tidal, at the start of the month. But, like having garlic for lunch, he keeps coming back. He’s released a new track, ‘Stare’, on Spotify and it is credited to him (not 3rdEyeGirl, even though they are doing an album at some point this year), suggesting one of two things: he is testing the streaming waters again; or he can’t make up his mind what he wants to do. Music Ally understands that this is currently a one-track set up with Spotify and no other plans are currently in place for him to put out any other music (new or catalogue) via the service. It should be pointed out that he technically does have some other tracks on Spotify, such as his cover of ‘A Case Of You’ from a Joni Mitchell album, but much will be made of his conditional return to streaming. This comes the day after Neil Young pulled all his albums (well, the Warner ones) from all streaming services because he doesn’t like streaming audio quality. In related news, retrenched pop fellows One Direction have “dropped” their new single, ‘Drag Me Down’, on Spotify and Apple Music. Liam from the band also used a SMILING + BLUSHING EMOJI in relation to it, so that must be good. Maybe that could go on the posters instead of star ratings. “The new single from One Direction is out now – FIVE SMILING + BLUSHING EMOJIS (Heat magazine).”
Source: Billboard – http://tinyurl.com/ottbm59
Source: Twitter (One Direction) – http://tinyurl.com/og2mfxz
10 August 2015
Prince’s new album will be a Tidal-exclusive… but for how long?
As anticipated, the next Prince album will be exclusive to streaming service Tidal, although the details of whether this is a time-limited deal have not been announced. ‘Hitnrun’ will launch on Tidal on 7 September, “cementing” a relationship that began when the service streamed the first hour of Prince’s Rally 4 Peace gig in Baltimore earlier this year. “After one meeting, it was obvious that Jay Z and the team he has assembled at Tidal recognise and applaud the effort that real musicians put into their craft to achieve the very best they can at this pivotal time in the music industry,” said Prince. “Secondly, Tidal have honoured us with a non-restrictive arrangement that once again allows us to continue making art in the fashion we’ve grown accustomed to and we’re extremely grateful for their generous support.” Non-restrictive? There’ll be inevitable speculation about how long the exclusive will last: Tidal had 770k subscribers last time Jay Z gave numbers in April, and although Prince has never been afraid to go his own way, the prospect of missing another 75m potential listeners on Spotify and however many million on Apple Music, to name but two, will not have escaped him. Our prediction: ‘Hitnrun’ will be on Tidal’s rivals sometime in October.
Source: Prince – http://tinyurl.com/pflphzo
Music Ally archive: Tidal – https://musically.com/tag/
11 August 2015
Prince’s new album will be exclusive to Tidal for ‘years’
A reminder if you’ve missed the last couple of decades of Prince’s career: he’s not that keen on traditional label deals. “Record contracts are just like — I’m gonna say the word – slavery. I would tell any young artist … don’t sign,” he said in a rare media briefing this weekend. Prince, of course, famously played the Brit Awards in 1995 with ‘Slave’ scrawled on his face, at the height of his dispute with Warner Brothers. In his latest media interview, Prince talked about something more up to date too: his partnership with Tidal. “Once we have our own resources, we can provide what we need for ourselves. Jay Z spent $100 million of his own money to build his own service. We have to show support for artists who are trying to own things for themselves,” he said. Interestingly, Prince also described his release of a new single on Spotify as testing that service out, but said his ‘Hitnrun’ album will be exclusive to Todal for “a few years”.
Source: NPR – http://tinyurl.com/otpdlu3
Source: BuzzFeed – http://tinyurl.com/oybo6wf
Music Ally archive: Prince – https://musically.com/tag/
8 September 2015
Prince’s new album may be great – but who will hear it?
Prince has released his latest album, ‘HITNRUN Phase One’, and early reviews suggest it’s very good indeed. “It’s been a long time since a Prince album has been so pleasurable and enjoyable to hear,” wrote the Guardian’s reviewer yesterday. “Skillful and scattershot,” suggested the New York Times’. Yet there remains a debate about just how many fans will hear the album, since as promised, it has been released exclusively on streaming service Tidal.
“Tidal have honoured us with a non-restrictive arrangement that once again allows us to continue making art in the fashion we’ve grown accustomed to and we’re extremely grateful for their generous support,” said Prince last month. “Both Prince and Tidal share the belief that all creatives should have the opportunity to speak directly to those that love and support them,” added Tidal co-owner Jay-Z at the time. Yet in this case, it’s only a subset of the fans who love and support Prince: the ones paying for Tidal.
This is a genuine exclusive – one service only – rather than the blanket ‘paid subscription services only’ approach taken by Taylor Swift with her back catalogue. And while Prince has always gone his own way digitally, the risk here is that those of his fans who do value music – by buying it physically or digitally, or by paying for another streaming service – are the ones being penalised. The danger: rather than a stand in support of music’s value, it’s more a case of new album as marketing collateral for one specific service.
Prince made the music, so it’s his right to decide how to distribute it, as well as to strike whatever business agreements he sees fit around it. In the downloads era, exclusives were less problematic for fans: if an album was not available from your store of choice, you could buy from another. In the subscription streaming world, people’s attachment to their playlists and networks of friends, artists and tastemakers that they’re following on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play or a rival may trump their desire to hear the new Prince album.
And so the new Prince album may not be heard by people who already love and value his music, but also by people who don’t know or love it yet, but might do. If this turns out to be a time-limited Tidal exclusive and ‘HITNRUN Phase One’ appears elsewhere in the weeks ahead, these concerns may be short-lived. But as things stand, a non-time-limited streaming exclusive risks looking less like a punch thrown in support of artists’ rights, and more like a jab in the eye for fans.
15 September 2015
Prince is now selling his latest album through Tidal
When Prince launched his latest album ‘Hitnrun Phase One’ exclusively on streaming service Tidal, we thought it risked alienating fans who wanted to buy his music but didn’t want to subscribe to Tidal. It seems Prince might agree. He’s started selling the album through Tidal as a CD or download, with no requirement that buyers subscribe to the service. The MP3 download costs £9.99, while a FLAC version is £17.99. Meanwhile, the CD costs £13.99 plus shipping. It’s the first time Tidal has sold music a la carte in this way, although the fact that the album is hosted in a ‘store’ section of its site suggests other artists may follow in Prince’s footsteps – perhaps with tickets and merchandise as well as music.
Source: Tidal – http://tinyurl.com/nzz2s2m
Music Ally archive: Tidal – https://musically.com/tag/
27 October 2015
Prince rejoins Instagram with flurry of photos
Prince appears to have settled on a formula for social media: join a service, post a few times, then delete everything and sit back to enjoy people calling you enigmatic all over again. So enjoy Prince’s Instagram account while you can: having fired it up again this week under the “Princestagram” moniker, Prince has already posted 88 images and video clips at the time of writing. Most of them are shots of himself throughout his career, although there are also some jokey memes (“How light skinned dudes wipe their nose / roll dice” for example). One video clip even appears to show Prince’s laptop homescreen with a snatch of new music. But as we say, if the account isn’t wiped by the end of the year, we’ll be surprised. We suspect Prince is having quite a lot of fun at the internet’s expense with all this, so more power to him.
Link – https://instagram.com/prince/
Music Ally archive: Prince – https://musically.com/tag/
16 November 2015
Prince pulls UK ticket sales due to touting
Ticket sales for Prince’s upcoming UK tour have been postponed, with the star blaming touts. Ticketmaster announced the postponement on Friday via a tweet: “On sale of Prince – Piano & A Microphone tour has been postponed & will not be going ahead at 10am this morning,” it explained. Then Prince followed up with a tweeted photo of a vulture and a multiple-choice question: “A. SCAVENGER B. VULTURE C. TOUT
D. ALL OF THE ABOVE” before linking to an article published the same day by Which? about its investigation into secondary ticketing websites. That included the finding that tickets for some big tours were available on Ticketmaster’s secondary site Get Me In! as soon as they were available on its primary site.
Source: Prince – http://tinyurl.com/owkfoy5
Source: Which? – http://tinyurl.com/q7jn329
Music Ally archive: Ticketing – https://musically.com/tag/
8 December 2015
Prince famously scrubbed his Coachella 2008 cover of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’ off the internet. “Well, tell him to unblock it. It’s our… song,” said Thom Yorke at the time. But last night, Prince tweeted a link to a newly-uploaded version of the song on YouTube, so presumably he approves now.
Link – http://tinyurl.com/o5uuq99
14 December 2015
Prince debuts another surprise album on Tidal
Tis the season to be jolly – not to mention for artists to start beyoncéing out surprise albums left, right and centre. Prince, for example, released a new 12-track album on Saturday as another exclusive on Tidal. Hitnrun Phase Two is the follow-up to his last album (also exclusive to the streaming service). The new album is being streamed on Tidal, but fans can also buy parts one and two for $14.99 in the MP3 format, or $26.99 as FLAC files. Prince is quite keen for fans to buy the album, judging by one of his tweets this weekend: “PLEASE EVERYONE PURCHASE THE PRODUCT AFTER LISTENING…” he tweeted.
Source: Tidal – http://tinyurl.com/pw4e23l
Music Ally archive: Prince – https://musically.com/tag/
19 February 2016
Prince’s passport photo is cooler than your passport photo.
Link – http://tinyurl.com/h6r7a2g