The battle is over between The Prince Estate and Tidal. Now, the only thing Tidal needs to do is survive.
Good news for fans of Prince!
The Prince Estate and Tidal have jointly announced the exclusive debut an unreleased album by The Artist in 2019. That settles some protracted beef between the camps stemming from the last time a Prince album was debuted on Tidal.
This time, the album will stream exclusively on Tidal for fourteen days. It will contain “previously unreleased music sourced from the late singer’s vast archive of Vault recordings.” Just last month, we published photos of an immense vault of music at Prince’s Paisley Park, which probably contains hundreds of unreleased tracks.
The upcoming album will be available for download seven days after its debut. It remains unclear, however, which label will distribute the album. “A global physical release is planned via The Prince Estate following the exclusive digital premiere on Tidal,” the parties shared.
The exclusive comes at a tenuous time for Tidal. The streaming platform is battling rampant allegations of fraud, including false claims related to stream counts and subscribers. And underneath all of the playcount puffery, sources to DMN are pointing to some pretty paltry subscriber numbers. That includes one reliable estimate of less than a million paying subs, which of course pales next to Spotify’s 70 million-plus and Apple Music’s 40 million.
The Prince Estate and Tidal were embroiled in a legal battle in 2016.
They sued each other over the rights to stream the late singer’s unreleased music and his entire catalog. Initially, the streaming service made his entire body of work available. The artist’s estate said, however, that the company only had permission, at that time, to stream his latest album exclusively for 90 days.
The album in contention was HITNRUN Phase One, which debuted after the late artist pulled his music catalog from other streaming services like Spotify.
All’s well that ends well – and Prince’s fans are the winners.
Tidal’s agreement was approved recently by the Probate Court overseeing The Prince Estate. Jay-Z, who together with a variety of other successful music artists owns Tidal, said in a statement that “Our only goal is to share Prince’s music with his fans as he wanted.”
According to Jay-Z, this is what Prince would have wanted. “After a thoughtful and honest conversation with him, he chose Tidal as his partner for ‘HITnRUN Phase One’ and ‘HITnRUN Phase Two,’ and we will continue to respect and honor Prince’s enduring legacy and wishes with this new collection,” the rapper continued.
Troy Carter, the estate’s entertainment advisor (and former Lady Gaga manager), released a statement saying, “I’m very pleased this is resolved, and we get to honor the relationship between Prince and Tidal with this album. We look forward to fans hearing the new music and experiencing the genius of Prince.”