Is Prince Wrong?

By Speed on the Beat (@speedonthebeat)

Now, we know that Prince is an eclectic man. He's always been one to buck convention--and conventional wisdom. I mean, this is the man who, to quote Eminem, "turned himself into a symbol." But, part of me can't help but wonder if his approach to the Internet and streaming services is nothing but a bad reaction to the sign of The Time(s).

Bad puns that take way too damn much to make sense aside, Prince has all but removed his streaming footprint from the world, aside from TIDAL and maybe Google Music. He's sued people who've posted concert feeds and has been as stubborn about realizing that the internet, streaming, YouTube and all, is integral in music distribution now as that old man who yells at kids about "back in [his] day." He's music's equivalent of Walt Kowalski.

And his shotgun is his guitar Prince right for removing music from the ears of many prospective buyers?

Well, yes, but to a degree. Now, I agree with him wanting to play the game by his own rules. That's why sites such as Bandcamp exist, where you're not stuck in such a bind. However, those sites are problematic at times because free streams make less than streams which bring in a fraction of a cent per stream because, well, they're free. But the model is novel and gives artists more flexibility for themselves and fans. And streaming is still a work in progress and probably will be for a while.

But to say "oh, hey. You like my music? Well screw you. Buy a TIDAL subscription for more?" That's a bit extreme. Yeah, you can say "well, Speed, if someone doesn't have 10 bucks a month to pay for hi-fi music from, for instance, Prince...they shouldn't be giving a damn about Prince?" And, again, that's true, to a degree. But, removing music from a Spotify, for instance, can, at times, limit people's ability to access tracks, thus forcing them to rely on bootlegs. Additionally, you're cutting a large chunk of your prospective audience out and for what? To prove a point about The Business?

Cool. You prove your point. Your music is only available in hard copies and/or through TIDAL (even though people are still going to find a way to pirate music, Prince efforts be damned). Now what? You potentially lose people who could become the next generation of Prince fans? That's where my agreement ceases.

So what do you think? Is Prince right? Feel free to message me on Twitter. I just ask that you keep it respectable.


Popular Posts