Prince fans worldwide are partying like it’s 2017, not 1999, now that his heyday music catalog is available on all major streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon.
With the songs “Purple Rain” and “Let’s Go Crazy” leading the way, the late Minneapolis rock legend racked up 3.7 million streams on Monday alone — up nearly 10,000 percent from the prior week, when his music was available from only one streaming company, Tidal.
Along with 1 million streams on Sunday, the day his music hit most streaming sites, his recordings were streamed more in two days than in the entire prior year, according to Nielsen Entertainment.
“This is a special moment, where an incomparably deep catalog suddenly becomes available,” said David Bakula, senior vice president of analytics at Nielsen, which monitors album sales and streaming.
The music streamers really are digging deep into Prince’s catalog, too. Bakula singled out the songs “Why You Wanna Treat Me So Bad?” and “Computer Blue” as less-than-famous cuts that also saw giant boosts, a trend that indicates his popularity on these sites should be long-term.
“People aren’t just going on to hear the big hits, they’re going back and rediscovering the very bottom of the catalog,” he said.
At the top of the singles list in streaming was “Purple Rain,” which earned 333,000 streams in one day. The song performed by Bruno Mars during Sunday’s Grammy Awards, “Let’s Go Crazy,” was next, followed by “When Doves Cry,” “Little Red Corvette” and “Kiss.”
Separately, Amazon Music kept track of whole album streams. “The Very Best of Prince” led the album pack, followed by “Purple Rain,” “Sign o’ the Times,” “The Hits/The B-Sides” and “Around the World in a Day.”
While the Warner Bros. catalog is unquestionably Prince’s best-known material, it’s less than half of his musical output. The rest is not yet available for streaming. Universal Music just announced a deal last week to oversee control of his post-1995 recordings. There’s a lot more streaming to come, in other words.