In wider release, Prince’s streaming figures skyrocket

Prince performs in March 2009 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles.
(Kristian Dowling / Getty Images)

In life, Prince was one of streaming’s great holdouts. Now, not even a year after his death, his music has finally hit Spotify, Apple Music and the other major streaming services. And fans have stormed the gates to revisit his hit-heavy catalog.

Nielsen Music reported Thursday that after finally getting a wide release on Sunday, Prince’s streams have spiked by a massive magnitude.

The combined Sunday and Monday streaming totals (two days in wide release) hit 4.7 million, which eclipsed the 4.3 million his tracks had streamed in the year so far. The uptick was significant — a 2,800% daily increase on Sunday and a 9,700% daily increase on Monday.


Those figures were no doubt boosted by the Grammys, where Bruno Mars and Prince collaborators the Time paid tribute in a medley performance on Sunday. The top-streamed songs were many of the ones you’d expect: “Purple Rain,” “Let’s Go Crazy,” “When Doves Cry,” “Little Red Corvette” and “Kiss” rounded out the top five.

Prince had a complicated relationship with streaming services. He gave rights to his new album “HITNRUN” to Tidal shortly before his death, whereupon his estate sued Tidal for violating its license, claiming the service had no rights to his back catalog.

His estate then held out for nearly a year before finally allowing his landmark albums to hit most major services.

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