Purple Rain forecast for Grammys as Prince streaming rumours grow

2 Feb 2017

An artist paints Prince. Image: Steve Quinlan/Shutterstock

The wait for Prince’s music to be included on streaming services may soon be at an end, with growing rumours of a major announcement at the Grammys.

12 February, the night of the Grammys, could be a significant date for Prince fans hankering for some streaming support.

Rumours have circulated for weeks now that Prince’s Warner Music back catalogue was the subject of serious negotiations between various music streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, Google Play and Deezer.

This followed moves by the musician himself, nine months before his death last year, to pull all of his music from various providers.

The Warner songs are available on Tidal at the moment, but that is at the centre of a legal battle.

It appears that the Grammys, which will host a special tribute to the late musician, will provide the moment of truth.

Nothing is official yet, but Spotify has rolled out an advertising campaign on the New York subway, with plain, purple signage on pillars and just the company’s logo at the base.

The New York Post cites sources that confirm the date, marking the end of a 19-month spell without the likes of Purple Rain, When Doves Cry and Let’s Go Crazy on most streaming sites.

Earlier this month, US telecoms giant Sprint acquired a 33pc stake in Jay Z’s streaming service Tidal in a $200m transaction. The deal will see Tidal become available to Sprint’s 45m retail customers across the US.

Meanwhile SoundCloud’s recent financials showed just how tough it is to make it in the streaming world. SoundCloud spent much of 2016 at the centre of an acquisition rumour, with Spotify heavily linked to a purchase of the music-streaming rival.

However, as yet, no move has transpired and while we fiddle and wait for something to happen, SoundCloud is burning cash at an alarming rate.

In 2015, the year when streaming really took off, SoundCloud’s losses continued to spiral – revenues grew 21.6pc to €21.1m in 2015, but its net losses accelerated 30.9pc to €51.22m in that time.

An artist paints Prince. Image: Steve Quinlan/Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic