A week after Prince’s Tidal-exclusive release, non-subscribers can now buy the 57-year old R&B star’s new record HITNRUN Phase One on MP3 and CD through the Jay Z-backed streamer.
Those still partial to the physical format, however, will pay a serious premium for the attachment: $21.59 plus $4 shipping for the CD version. Downloads of the new album — available in both MP3 quality or CD-quality versions — are more reasonable, priced at $10 and $18 respectively. The offering is the first time that Tidal will allow non-subscribers to purchase downloads or CDs, according to a company spokesperson (via The Verge).
Prince has embraced Tidal, but he’s had mixed feelings about other music streamers. In June, he removed all of his tracks from Spotify (except for one), Rdio and Deezer, citing concerns on how these companies affect the music business. His music has never been on Apple Music, but is available on Google Play. Quoting a piece on music streaming from The Daily Beast, Prince made his views about streaming readily available to his followers on Twitter in a post back in June:
“Essentially, streaming has offered labels the ability to pay themselves twice while reducing what is owed to artists…
— Prince3EG (@Prince3EG) June 25, 2015
While a music streamer selling physical CDs may be a bit out of the ordinary, services like Apple Music and Google Play are still very much geared towards download sales. However, offering the album in CD-quality resolution for download, as well as in the traditional physical format, may well appeal to audiophiles in lieu of high-resolution tracks.
Whether or not Tidal plans on expanding its CD sales to include other artists is unclear. In the meantime, you can buy a CD of HITNRUN Phase One on Tidal, as well as from Amazon or from big box stores, where the album is more reasonably priced.