Tidal, East Hamptonite Jay-Z’s subscription music streaming service, and The Prince Estate announced on May 11 that a posthumous Prince album is in the works. The unreleased songs are sourced from Prince’s vast archive of Vault recordings and will stream exclusively on Tidal for two weeks before becoming available on other platforms. The option to download the album, which is expected to be released in 2019, will be disabled for the first week after its release. The Prince Estate is planning a global physical release following the digital premiere.
The new release marks a continuation of Prince’s 2015 partnership with Tidal, which resulted in the exclusive debut of HITnRUN Phase One and HITnRUN Phase Two on Tidal. This album release concludes the previously unresolved legal matters between The Prince Estate and Tidal, which involved Jay-Z’s company assuming that it had exclusive streaming rights to Prince’s entire catalog, when in actuality, it only maintained that right for the two HITnRUN albums. Prince’s label NPG Records and NPG Music Publishing sued Tidal for damages on copyright infringement grounds in 2016, and on May 9, 2018, an agreement was approved in probate court, ending the dispute.
Now, The Prince Estate and Jay-Z are working together on the song selection for the album. Jay-Z said in the press release, “Our only goal is to share Prince’s music with his fans as he wanted. After thoughtful and honest conversation with him, he chose Tidal as his partner for HITnRUN Phase One and HITnRUN Phase Two, and we will continue to respect and honor Prince’s enduring legacy and wishes with this new collection.”
Troy Carter, speaking on behalf of The Prince Estate, echoed those sentiments, in saying, “I’m very pleased this is resolved, and we get to honor the relationship between Prince and Tidal with this album. We look forward to fans hearing the new music and experiencing the genius of Prince.”