It's Official: Prince Is Coming To Streaming This Sunday

Feb 9, 2017
Originally published on February 10, 2017 11:16 am

After months of well-sourced rumors, the streaming service Napster (formerly known as Rhapsody) and another source have confirmed to NPR that Prince's records under Warner Bros. — which include the epochal classics 1999, Purple Rain, Dirty Mind, and Sign o' the Times — will be available to stream this Sunday, the day of the 59th Grammy Awards.

As the company wrote: "The rumors are true ... music fans rejoice!"

That Napster broke the news is a very strong indication that other streaming services, like Spotify, will also have the catalog. (Spotify and Apple declined to comment.) Amazon Music, iHeartRadio and Apple Music, that last according to an anonymous source, will also have the catalog available.

Many have noted Prince's aversion to streaming (apart from signing a strict deal with Tidal, he removed his music from most other streaming services) without considering his forward-thinking approach to both business and technology. For that, you could do much worse than the comprehensive accounting of the Purple One's technological and business history that Billboard's Jem Aswad laid out last year or Hasit Shah's essay on this site about the ways in which his attitude toward technology was misunderstood.

Even without his most famous recordings held off Apple Music and Spotify, Prince was the ninth-most successful recording artist of 2016 — so now we wait and see what, if any, digital records he'll break. Again.

Update, 1:13 p.m. ET, Feb. 10, 2017: Following publication, several companies made public that their services would also be making the same catalog available. This article has been updated to reflect this.

Update, 5:25 p.m. ET, Feb. 9, 2017: Spotify and Apple declined to comment and the story was confirmed by another source. This article has been updated to reflect this.

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