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Prince Pulls Music From All But Two Streaming Services

Prince
Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images

Prince and Taylor Swift have so much in common. They’ve both sold millions of records, are supremely powerful figures within the music industry, and they both kind of hate streaming services.

Well, they both hate specific streaming services. According to Engadget, Prince removed his discography from all streaming sites except Google Music and TIDAL — but if you follow him on Twitter, this shouldn’t come as a total surprise. He recently tweeted a quote from an in-depth Daily Beast article about streaming that said, “Essentially, streaming has offered labels the ability to pay themselves twice while reducing what is owed to artists from pennies on the dollar to fractions of pennies on the dollar.”

The argument isn’t a new one. Taylor Swift first sparked a conversation about the paltry compensation streaming sites offer artists and their labels back in November when she announced that her music would no longer be offered on Spotify. It was a controversial decision that painted her as a greedy multi-millionaire by miffed Spotify subscribers, while artists both bigger and smaller than her publicly took issue with her stance.

It wasn’t until she changed her tactics (and her tone) that artists and fans rallied around her and her decision to call out streaming: This time she shamed Apple Music for their ludicrous decision to not pay artists during a three-month free user trial. Of course, it was a slightly different battle she was fighting (being paid more vs. being paid at all), but the public generally sided with Taylor. Think pieces shifted in her favor, and she was suddenly Taylor Swift: Champion for Indie Artists Everywhere. Nobody knows how to spin a narrative like Taylor Swift.

And she’s right — Apple’s initial decision to pretty much give away music for free was a shockingly stupid one. It’s like being offered payment in “exposure” — you have to be equal parts desperate and naive to settle for that kind of insult. Apple did turn things around (in a suspiciously short amount of time, some conspiracy theorists say), ultimately agreeing to pay their artists. It may only be a matter of time before more artists jump on Taylor’s and Prince’s bandwagon and pull their discographies from streaming sites, too (though we hope they don’t).

If you’re bummed about Prince’s decision to pull his music from Spotify and elsewhere you can always subscribe to TIDAL — or, you know, buy his albums.

Next: Prince Wants Justice and Peace in New Song 'Baltimore'

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