It’s been a long, long time in the making, but Prince’s music will finally be available on streaming services as of this weekend, appropriately enough coinciding with the 59th Grammy Awards.
As reported on NPR, both Napster and another unnamed source have told the outlet that all of Prince’s records released under Warner – yes, that means Purple Rain – will indeed be freely available to stream for the first time, writing “The rumours are true… music fans rejoice!”
While Napster (aka ‘the streaming service formerly known as Rhapsody’) are the only streaming platform to have publicly commented on the news (both Apple and Spotify declined to comment), it seems very unlikely that they’d have some sort of exclusive deal. Considering that Spotify have already been teasing us with very distinct purple ads in recent weeks and rumours abound of a Grammy tie-in, it seems more a case of Napster having simply let the cat out of the bag early.
Prince has always been famously vigilant about policing the illegal upload of his music online, and hesitant to allow it to be streamed through legitimate methods either, so it’s a big moment for fans to finally be able to listen to his music to their heart’s content without having to dust off the record collection.
This news follows the announcement that the rights to his back-catalogue – and his vault containing decades of unreleased music – are making their way to Universal Music Group, opening the door for those unheard recordings to potentially see the light of day.
Update: It was originally claimed that Napster sent this information out in a press release, but this was not the case. The article has been updated to reflect this.