Prince’s estate and Tidal announced on Friday, after a long legal battle, that Tidal will premiere an album of previously unreleased Prince material, expected out in 2019.
The lawsuit first began in November 2016 when Tidal went to court over the rights to exclusively stream the Prince catalog. This new agreement between the two parties was approved on Wednesday, May 9, concluding their legal dispute.
Tidal will exclusively stream the album for two weeks, and after the first week, they will allow digital downloads of the album. After that two-week window, Prince’s estate will release the physical album globally.
Tidal owner Jay-Z said of the release, “Our only goal is to share Prince’s music with his fans as he wanted. After thoughtful and honest conversation with him, he chose Tidal as his partner for Hit n Run Phase One and Hit n Run Phase Two, and we will continue to respect and honor Prince’s enduring legacy and wishes with this new collection.”
Entertainment advisor for Prince’s estate Troy Carter said of the agreement, “I’m very pleased this is resolved, and we get to honor the relationship between Prince and Tidal with this album. We look forward to fans hearing the new music and experiencing the genius of Prince.”
Under an initial agreement between Tidal and Prince’s estate, Tidal was awarded streaming rights to Prince’s latest two albums, Hit n Run Phase One and Hit n Run Phase Two, as well as this new, unreleased full-length album and streaming exclusivity to Prince’s previously released discography. Later, the artist’s estate disputed the legitimacy of the initial agreement after his death in 2016, after which Prince’s back catalog returned to other streaming platforms.
Last month, a previously unheard version of Prince’s single “Nothing Compares 2 U” was unearthed by his estate. The original song was recorded by the Purple One in 1984, six years before Sinéad O’Connor released the hit version of the song. Prince’s estate uncovered the original version of the song in Paisley Park’s underground vault. Listen to the recently unearthed version here.
Today’s announcement comes at an opportune time for Tidal—the service was recently accused of falsifying its streaming figures for a pair of 2016 albums from Beyoncé and Kanye West. A Norwegian newspaper reported that the streamer’s stats had been “manipulated to the tune of several hundred million false plays.”
Check out Paste’s feature, “His Name was Prince,” a tribute to the life and music of the legendary Prince Rogers Nelson.