Monday, 13 February 2017

Music News | Prince returns to Spotify, Apple Music and more

The Warner Bros. era (1978-1996) of Prince's catalog has returned to streaming sites, including Spotify, after two years of only being available on Tidal and physical copies. 

Prince was one of many artists annoyed by these companies streaming their music virtually for free (if you hadn't signed up for a subscription), only giving small amounts of money in royalties through ad revenue. "I don't see why I should give my music to iTunes or anyone else," said Prince in an interview with the Daily Mirror. "They won't pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it." 

Prince had reigns on his music after ditching streaming services, only allowing Jay Z's Tidal to stream his work, as the company offers a higher level of compensation to its artists for their music. 

Since the musician's death last April, there has been calamity within his estate (worth up to $200 million), as it seems no will or estate plan was left behind. Representatives of Prince's estate - L. Londell McMillan and Charles Koppelman - are beginning to work out what to do with his estate and who now holds the right to his music. The rights were eventually given to the Universal Music Group and Warner Bros. for their respective eras of Prince's music. UMG, alongside Prince's own NPG Records, will have exclusive rights to Prince's work post-Warner Bros. 

Whilst wholly complicated to the lack of will and estate plan, Prince's music returning to Spotify and other sites has received mixed reactions. Initially, I was elated to open Spotify and see Prince back on there after two years. However, after thinking over it throughout the day, there seems to be an air of sad irony surrounding the move. As much as I love seeing Prince back in my playlists, there is a part of me that feels guilty listening to his music through a streaming service. My mind immediately goes back to Prince writing 'slave' across his cheek in retaliation to conglomerates such as Warner Bros. for not letting him have control over his own creations. 

The saving grace of this is that not only do fans have access to his music again (we did before, but you'll be hard-pressed to did anyone who buys CDs anymore), a whole generation of kids will be able to listen to his music and fall in love with him as we did. 


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