Prince is the type of artist who speaks in riddles and who tends to substitute “funk mysticism” for “logic,” so maybe he’s not the ultimate authority on the currently-in-progress streaming wars. But he clearly has feelings on the subject. Prince has gone all-in on Jay Z’s Tidal service, removing all his music from all other streaming services and releasing his two recent HITNRUN albums as Tidal exclusives. And now he’s told Ebony about how he expects the streaming wars to work out.
The Ebony interview isn’t online right now, but Billboard reports that Prince had this to say about Tidal:
HITNRUN sounds like today. Tidal is sinking money into it and they need it. And my heart is always on because I want them to do well. [Beyoncé and Jay Z] have taken a lot of abuse, their family has. A historic amount of abuse between the two of ‘em. And when we win on this, none of us’ll gloat. He’s not the gloating type anyway. He’s slick with his. He says to brush the dirt off your shoulder. “Y’all just need to stop. Just calm down! Everybody calm down! There ya go.”
Seems airtight! And on the difference between Tidal and Spotify, he had this to say:
[Tidal has] a million-plus subscribers. Spotify has 10. So if you imagine a million people in front of you? That’s a lot of people. So you gotta talk to them and you getting ready to drop something and all of ‘em are gonna get it. What do you wanna say? How are you gonna move all of ‘em? Oh, now it gets interesting. It’s always going to be the peanut gallery and that’s all right.
My thing is this. The catalog has to be protected. And some of our fans were actually disingenuous. Taking the time to get their playlists together and yeah, it’s gone. Now you got to actually go subscribe to get the music that you lost on Spotify. Spotify wasn’t paying, so you gotta shut it down.
Seriously, though, how great is it that Prince made his streaming-wars decisions, at least in part, because he likes Jay Z’s whole demeanor?