The music industry has always been extremely competitive. It seems like things have only gotten more intense thanks to the various music streaming options that are now available. Since these services—like TIDAL, Apple Music, Spotify, etc.—are so similar to each other, each company is continuously looking for ways to get ahead of the others. This time, instead of trying to think of new innovative ideas, TIDAL is taking it back to the basics.
TIDAL is now exclusively selling physical copies of Prince’s HITNRUN album for a total of $25.58 (including shipping). Last month, it was announced that Prince would be releasing HITNRUN exclusively through TIDAL. Since its release, digital copies have also become available on iTunes and Amazon. However, the CDs will only be available through TIDAL—thankfully for TIDAL subscribers as well as non-subscribers. This will be the first time TIDAL has allowed purchases from non-subscribers.
As of right now, other streaming services lead customers to digital downloads or web stores like Amazon for purchases. It’s hard to tell if this will be a progressive or retrogressive move for TIDAL. But it will be certainly be interesting to see if it influences other streaming services to start focusing on tangible and collectible music items again.
UPDATE: After a couple tweets from people who saw physical copies of the album, we did a little investigating, and it appears that the physical copies of HITNRUN aren’t so exclusive to TIDAL after all. While a physical copy from TIDAL will cost over $25, you can buy one at FYE in Washington, D.C. for $14.99. Oh, and it’s on iTunes (for $9.99) and Amazon (for $13.98).
UPDATE 2: A member of TIDAL’s PR team got back to us about this and explained: “TIDAL is currently the exclusive streaming partner. This week, it is widely available for physical purchase and download, including availability on TIDAL.” You can stream the album on TIDAL here.