Prince Streaming: Where to Listen to the Purple One's Music Online

By Gary Cutlack on at

Feeling bad that you stopped listening to Prince in about 2003 and therefore haven't heard his more recent 50-odd albums? That's OK, it's one of the known stages of famous musician grief. Imagine how hard it was to track down Elvis' live material when he exploded in 1977, inconveniently way before the internet.

The problem for Prince fans hurriedly needing to catch up on his output today is that the late artist was notoriously keen on protecting his copyright, a stance that led to him pulling his videos from YouTube, his music from Spotify and existing mainly as a direct-to-fans physical products and tours artist with an extremely low streaming/digital footprint. He even hated gig photos, often tweeting his fury at people who shared mobile shots of his performances.

The most complete collection of digital Prince streams can be found on Tidal, unfortunately, where modern days Prince albums HITNRUN and 3121 exist alongside Lovesexy, 1999, Controversy and the always underrated Batman soundtrack many hold guiltily dear. You can listen to the first 30 seconds of each track for free without a paid account, which is enough for a refresher or sudden musical crash course.

On YouTube, today's hottest play is his halftime show at the 2011 Superbowl, which survives thanks to the copyright presumably being owned by the NFL. Hence view counts are exploding today, as internet users the world over wonder why the Alphabet Street video they went for isn't on there and watch this instead. Other official videos simply can't be found, bar the odd hurried, low-res rip uploaded last night.

Spotify -- practically nothing. His artist page there has literally one song; 2015's Stare. That's quite the public shaming for the world's favourite streaming service today.

Deezer has been explaining his absence to fans today too, telling users: "...we'd LOVE to have his music on Deezer, but Prince chose not to have his music on any streaming service."

Soundcloud has two snippets of two of his songs. Try raving unto that.

The best option is probably just to turn on any legacy radio-enabled device, such as a radio, car radio, phone radio or ancient Walkman radio, where DJs the world over will be picking their favourite Prince tunes probably for the next month and playing little else. Quite a lining to this cloud.

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