Tidal, the music-streaming service backed by Jay Z, praised legendary musician Prince after his death Thursday — and pointed grieving fans to its subscription service, which is the only streaming service to offer the bulk of his catalog.
Prince last summer pulled his music from Spotify, and his songs are also unavailable on Apple Music, Vevo, Rhapsody, Rdio and other services. YouTube has a number of user-uploaded Prince videos, but his official tunes aren’t there either.
Tidal tried to thread the needle between honoring Prince and using his death as a promotional opportunity. “A genius, innovator, creator, family member, Prince will be truly missed,” the company posted on Facebook and Twitter. The posts include a link to Prince’s page on Tidal; the service is priced starting at $9.99 per month.
On its website, Tidal wrote, “Let’s celebrate a legend.”
“He shared his creative vision and asked for nothing in return. With heavy hearts – prayers and blessings go to all those around the world that share the same love as us,” the company said.
Prince — notorious for his contentious relationship with music labels and distributors — actively supported Jay Z’s streaming service, which pledges more artist-friendly economic terms than competing services.
One of Prince’s last tweets, posted April 18, linked to his “Purple Pick of the Week” feature on Tidal, which highlighted new tracks, exclusive recordings, rarities and other curated content. Last year Prince released his “HITNRUN” album series exclusively on Tidal, which currently offers 279 tracks from the Purple One.
While in the early days of the web Prince embraced its potential for music distribution and empowering individual artists, he soured on the online world, saying in 2010 that “the Internet’s completely is over.”
“What I meant was that the Internet was over for anyone who wants to get paid, and I was right about that,” Prince said in a November 2015 interview with the Guardian. “Tell me a musician who’s got rich off digital sales. Apple’s doing pretty good though, right?”
Last month, Tidal said it had surpassed 3 million subscribers worldwide. The company has threatened to sue the former owners of the service, which sold it to Jay Z for $57 million last year, claiming the subscriber count was “well below” the 540,000 they reported at the time.