Prince, whose death on Thursday at age 57 stunned the music world, had a notoriously strained relationship with the internet in his later years.
“They won’t pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can’t get it.” Instead, like Taylor Swift, Prince opted for Tidal, the streaming service founded by Jay Z.
The idea, Branstetter says, was not to keep his music away from fans but to control how it gets to them and who profits from it.
Things were not always so icy between Prince and the internet, the article points out.
He even won a Webby Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006 for his NPG Music Club, a service through which subscribers could get exclusive content.
And Branstetter describes Prince’s 1994 CD-ROM Interactive as being “decades ahead of its time.” But there were darker times, too, as when he sued 22 fans for $22 million for, in his opinion, illegally sharing recordings of his live concerts.