Prince has done a good job of making it known that he’s not exactly a fan of modern technology, at least not when it comes to selling his music. Now The Purple One’s publisher has pulled all his music from streaming searches except for TIDAL, without any public explanation.
“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,” says a note on Prince’s Spotify page. His music has also been removed from Apple Music and Rdio.
For some time Prince’s legally team has worked to pull his music off YouTube and the song “Breakfast Can Wait” remains the only track on his channel.
Sources say Prince is using Web Sheriff to send notices to digital services. According to sources, the notice from Web Sheriff says that Prince has pulled his music from all U.S. PROs, so there are no reciprocal rights abroad. He wants all digital service to pull down his music, as recorded by him, so that once they have complied, they can negotiate with his owned publish company.
Once they agree to whatever rate he is seeking, digital services can then put his music back up. The takedown notice doesn’t impact those songs of his covered by other artists. Services are still allowed to play songs like Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares 2 U,” which Prince wrote and she covered.
Meanwhile, it’s not clear if Web Sheriff has reached all digital services yet, as Prince music is still available on Pandora. Either Pandora hasn’t yet been contacted, or it has a deal in place with Prince to play his music.