One of the most prominent skeptics of digital music, Prince has surprisingly been off the radar on the whole music streaming debate, until now.
The Minneapolis sound pioneer removed all of his songs from Spotify, Rdio and Apple Music earlier today, while keeping music on Google Play, Tidal and Deezer.
It is a weird selection of services, considering Deezer pays out less money to artists than Spotify and Apple Music. For all we know, it might be taking a little longer to have the tracks removed from those services.
This is a direct removal from Prince’s publisher, Warner Bros. It is the first attack at music streaming, although Prince has been venomously removing any mentions of his songs off YouTube and other free to listen music sites for a long time.
For Spotify, it is yet another removal of content from the service. Tidal’s co-founders Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Jay-Z, Kanye West and several artists from The Beggars Group continue to keep music off the service. Rdio faces similar oppression from artists that don’t appreciate the freemium model.
Apple Music has not run into the same problems, winning over indie labels and Taylor Swift with the 180 u-turn on paying artists in the free trial period. Prince is one of the only artists keeping music off Apple Music, which may indirectly hurt iTunes revenue.
Music streaming is starting to become embraced by more artists, who see the change as inevitable. Some artists, like Taylor Swift and Jay Z, are trying to fight some of the features, but it is hard to make customers turn away from streaming altogether.
Edit: Prince has removed all music from Deezer. Expect more online streaming services to receive the same treatment.