If you’re wondering how to listen to Prince’s music after the singer-songwriter’s recent passing, you’re not alone. The legendary artist’s discography spans 39 studio albums, four live albums, and a panoply of miscellaneous songs over an illustrious 40-year career — most of which can’t be streamed online.
Prince was no fan of the internet, and sued 22 Facebook users for $1 million each in 2014 for sharing links to his concert footage.
The new age of streaming services have not fared much better and will make that Prince tribute playlist require a bit more creativity. A year after regaining ownership of his entire catalog from parent label Warner Bros, the Purple Rain artist removed his music from most streaming services, including Spotify. Thankfully, even the most ellusive music artist on the internet is online. Digital Trends compiled all the best possible ways you could enjoy Prince’s music online for you to honor his life in music.
The streaming home that Jay Z built is the only service that streams Prince’s entire discography. Tidal has even altered its user interface in order to streamline the Prince binging, essentially replacing the “What’s New” section on the home screen with Prince’s entire discography. Unfortunately for the penny pinchers, Tidal’s overseers have not made any of his music available for free streaming, meaning you’ll still have to fork out $10 a month to stream Prince’s full catalog.
Google Play & YouTube
Warner Bros Records’ YouTube page has three songs from Prince’s 37th studio album, “Art Official Age,” but those are the exceptions to the cruel rule — there is virtually no Prince on YouTube. However, even with all of Prince’s lawsuits, YouTube has a varied mix of amateur and archival live footage. If you don’t mind some video tracking and grainy footage, you can easily enjoy gems such as the smash hit “Controversy” without paying a dime.
Google Play Music isn’t streaming any of Prince’s music, but the Google Play Store has every song available for purchase. While you will have to pony up more than $300 for the full Prince discography, Google Play lets you make your purchases available for streaming on any device with a simple click of the download button. The offline feature is available only to monthly subscribers though, so you’ll have to pay the $10 subscription fee before you can commence that “Diamonds & Pearls” dance party.
Spotify does not sell music, offers free streaming, and is owned by record labels — basically everything Prince abhorred. However, the leader in global subscription music streaming has a few crafty ways of legally streaming Prince songs. Prince’s “2045 Radical Man” is one of the few Prince songs available for streaming on Spotify, mainly because the track is from the soundtrack to Spike Lee’s Bamboozled instead of Prince’s 2004 album Trax from The NPA Music Club, Volume 2: The Slaughterhouse.
The lead single from Prince’s Hit & Run album, “Shine,” is the last single the artist released via Spotify. While the library of Prince music is severely limited, Spotify remains the only place you can listen to studio-quality Prince songs for free.
iTunes & Apple Music
The only full Prince album available on Apple Music is his 39th and final studio album, Hit n Run Phase Two. Beyond that are miscellaneous songs from random soundtracks, such as “The Song of the Heart,” from Happy Feet, and “Good Love,” from the soundtrack to Bright Lights, Big City. Since Apple’s Beats 1 radio station plays only songs that are available on iTunes — which includes Prince’s entire catalog — select tracks could theoretically be streamed via Apple Music, assuming Prince is featured on a Beats 1 radio show. If you’re will to wait for that, then Apple Music is your choice.