The battle for the streaming right to Prince‘s music began well before the icon passed last April. Roughly two years back, The Purple One removed his music from every streaming service except TIDAL, ushering in the contentious exclusivity era wherein fans no longer had access the dearly beloved catalog unless they subscribed to a clunky, ill-fated artist-owned service. Matters were only further complicated following his death. Bremer Trust took the reigns of the estate as a court-appointed administrator and waged war against TIDAL, claiming they’d overstated the terms of their agreement with Prince and were exploiting the musician’s death by continuing to stream his music.
Now it appears the streaming wars over Prince’s catalog are entering their final phase. According to Billboard, Bravado, the branding and licensing arm of Universal Music Group, has inked a deal to represent the estate; a natural move following UMG’s securing of the catalog’s exclusive publishing rights in November. And if we’re to take Bloomberg‘s word for it, that catalog will repopulate the databanks of Spotify and Apple Music by the time the Grammys air in early February, where a tribute is said to be planned in honor of The Kid. Again, these are delicate and fairly complicated litigation efforts that could take much longer than that to properly sort out. But we’re pulling for an amicable and mutually-beneficial outcome for all parties.