Prince can do whatever he wants.
The problem is:
1) No one is trying to buy his “albums” anymore
2) There are very few places to get actual CDs or LPs
3) He is living and partying as if it is 1999.
The game has changed.
He doesn’t have to put his music anywhere online if that makes him feel more in control somehow. The days of selling millions of albums has long been over for him, but fans like me will pay $150 every 5 years or so to see him live, or hopefully catch him in a small club by accident.
I think many of us longtime fans are cool with whatever decision he makes, but there is absolutely nothing that will stop the labels from continuing down the streaming path. We aren’t going back to the CD. It’s just not going to happen.
He might want to stop fighting the inevitable and be the creative genius he is and find another way of making money off of this.
How about stream stuff from his own website?
Oh wait, what is his website address again?
Prince giveth, and Prince taketh away. On the same day that the Purple Rain writer shared a new track, HARDROCKLOVER, on his Soundcloud page, he also began removing his back catalog from music streaming services. The Purple One’s music is no longer accessible on Spotify, and a note on his artist page reads: “Prince’s publisher has asked all streaming services to remove his catalog. We have cooperated with the request, and hope to bring his music back as soon as possible.” Billboard reports that his music was also removed from Rdio.
However, at the time of writing, Prince’s music is still accessible on Google Play, Tidal, and Deezer. Whether or not these streaming services are exceptions to Prince’s ire or just slow to respond to his publisher’s request is not clear. (Additionally, his music has never been available on Apple Music.) This behavior is far from unusual though, with Prince playing similar vanishing tricks on social media and YouTube last year. In the meantime, fans will have to be content with his new single, although according to a report from Pitchfork, even this was briefly removed from the internet before being restored the same day.