Tidal reportedly filed a petition in a Minnesota court on Friday (11Nov16) over exclusive streaming rights to Prince's music catalogue.
According to website Page Six, Tidal made its move after Prince’s estate - which is controlled under bank Bremer Trust - sold the singer's songwriting rights exclusively to Universal Music Group. The music behemoth is now the artist’s exclusive worldwide publishing administrator.
In 2015 the singer, who died aged 57 from a fentanyl overdose at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota, on 21 April (16), struck a deal with Tidal to release what ended up being his final albums — Hit n Run Phase One and Hit n Run Phase Two — as well as one further album of new music, plus a remix album.
Before his death in Prince also pulled all his music from rival apps such as Spotify, leaving his tunes only on Tidal, but the terms of the deal were unclear.
At the time, the Purple Rain hitmaker told magazine Ebony in an interview: "Tidal is sinking money into it and they need it. And my heart is always on because I want them to do well. (Beyonce and Jay Z) have taken a lot of abuse, their family has. A historic amount of abuse between the two of ‘em. And when we win on this, none of us’ll gloat. He’s not the gloating type anyway. He’s slick with his. He says to brush the dirt off your shoulder."
The court documents filed by Tidal claim that the service has “the right to exclusively stream (Prince’s) entire catalogue of music, with certain limited exceptions,” and asks that Tidal be informed of any deals the estate makes. It began streaming 15 Prince albums to commemorate the late artist’s birthday in June.
However, on Monday (14Nov16) TMZ reported Prince’s estate, managed by L. Londell MCMillan and Charles Koppelman, on behalf of the Bremer Trust, is claiming Tidal doesn’t have the rights to stream the 15 albums and “wants nothing to do with (Jay Z’s) offer to snatch up any of the late singer’s music catalogue".