Universal Music Publishing Group beat Tidal in the battle of ownership of Prince’s catalog, but the streaming company isn’t going down without a fight.
On Wednesday (Nov. 2), UMPG released a statement confirming that they are now “responsible for servicing and administering Prince’s expansive catalog of songs,” after the singing a deal with the later signer’s estate.
In response to the news, Tidal is reportedly claiming exclusive rights to the 57-year-old musician’s newer work, including his HitNRun remix album. The gray area seems to rest on how long Prince’s 2015 deal with Tidal was actually in effect.
But is this what the, great Purple One would have wanted?
When Prince first announced why he was releasing his LP, HitNRun through Tidal, he denoted it to the “indentured servitude” nature of the artist-label relationship. He believed that it was necessary to “show support for artists trying to own things for themselves,” considering Tidal pays more than the industry benchmark for streams. Clearly, his estate didn’t obtain the same fondness that Prince had towards Tidal.
We’ll have to wait and see where this goes, but here’s hoping that the battle doesn’t interfere with neither the release of the Prince4Ever greatest hits compilation album due later this month or the re-issuing of Purple Rain in 2017.