It’s happening: new Prince is on its way. Tidal and Prince’s estate announced on Friday that a batch of previously unreleased music from the late icon’s vaults will make up a new album, expected to be released in 2019, with Tidal owner Jay-Z working directly with the estate on song selection.
Upon its eventual release, the as-yet-untitled album will stream exclusively on Tidal for two weeks before it is released in physical formats. It will also be available to download seven days after its debut, though it’s unclear if or when the album will be shared with non-Tidal streaming services.
The agreement between Prince’s estate and Tidal, which was approved in probate court on May 9, effectively ends a copyright dispute between the two parties over the streaming service’s prior claim to streaming rights of Prince’s catalog. Before his death in April 2016, the two parties came to an exclusive agreement to stream Prince’s HITnRUN albums. Tidal believed it had an arrangement giving it exclusive rights to the artist’s entire catalog, which was later disputed in court by Prince’s label (NPG Records) and publishing arm (NPG Music Publishing).
“Our only goal is to share Prince’s music with his fans as he wanted,” said Jay-Z in a new statement. “After 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.”
Added Troy Carter, speaking on behalf of the Prince estate, “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.”
Tidal and the estate were quick to note that the new album will not involve any of Prince’s catalog that is under prior agreement with Warner Bros. Records. Last month, Carter told Variety that the estate was working on a “full-length album” project to be released by WBR as early as September.