Tidal has been the only streaming service with Prince’s catalog since July 2015, but Spotify is hinting that might change soon. Billboard notes that purple ads with just the Spotify logo have started appearing in Union Square’s train station. L. Londell McMillan—who’s in charge of negotiating streaming deals for Prince’s estate—couldn’t confirm that a deal has been made with Spotify when he spoke to Billboard last week and an agreement might not be reached before the Grammys on February 12. And yet, those strongly suggestive Spotify ads exist. SPIN has reached out to a Spotify representative for comment.
SPOTIFY x PRINCE.
— Music News & Rumors (@MusicNewsRumors) January 30, 2017
Prince’s estate and Tidal’s relationship has deteriorated over the past few months. In November, the former sued Roc Nation over how much of Prince’s catalog Tidal had license to stream, arguing that the service “is exploiting many copyrighted Prince works.” In response, Tidal and Roc Nation both claimed that they did indeed have the license, and “the right to exclusively stream [Prince’s] entire catalog of music, with certain limited exceptions.” The exclusive rights to Prince’s catalog has been one of Tidal’s core selling points, especially after his passing last April.
Update: Sources tell Pitchfork that Prince’s music will be streamable on Apple Music “very soon,” ending Tidal‘s exclusive claim over his catalog.