Acts as iconic as Prince are once in a lifetime, hence it’s little surprise that the legend’s music is proving a hot commodity two years after his sudden death.
As the posthumous success of Michael Jackson has proven, catalogue material is big business; in many cases, a billion dollar business.
Prince’s Estate have clearly clocked this and have struck a lucrative new deal with Sony Music – who’ve now snagged the distribution rights to a whopping 35 albums.
Full story below…
Billboard outlines the specifics of the deal, writing:
Under the new arrangement, the Prince catalog included in the deal will be distributed by Sony’s catalogue arm Legacy Recordings. Worldwide rights begin immediately for Prince’s album releases from 1995-2010, with the others following in years to come.
Among the titles included in the first phase are The Gold Experience (1995), Emancipation (1996), Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic (1999), The Rainbow Children (2001) and 3121 (2006), as well as Musicology (2004) and Planet Earth (2007), which were originally release via Sony through Columbia.
Additional album titles from the 2014-2015 era will also be distributed with worldwide rights under the deal in the future.
The deal also includes rights to other previously released singles, B-sides, remixes, non-album tracks, live recordings and music videos recorded before 1995.
Starting in 2021, Sony/Legacy’s distribution rights grow to include 12 Prince non-soundtrack catalog albums from the 1978-1996 era for distribution in the United States. Titles under the agreement from this period include Prince (1979), Dirty Mind(1980), Controversy (1981), 1999 (1982), Around the World in a Day (1985), Sign ‘O’ the Times (1987), Lovesexy (1988), Diamonds and Pearls (1991) and [Love Symbol] (1992).
Prolific in the sheer amount of material he released, not all of the Purple One’s albums are included in the deal.
Indeed, his two all-time best-selling albums, ‘Purple Rain’ (1984) and ‘Batman’ (1989), as well as ‘Parade’ (1986) and ‘Graffiti Bridge’ (1990), are not featured. They are soundtrack releases tied to Warner Bros. films and, as such, are subject to different terms.
Speaking on the landmark deal, SME Commercial Music Group President Richard Story said:
“A true artist and visionary, Prince changed the world with his music, bringing love, joy and inspiration to millions. Sony Music is honored to play a part in keeping Prince’s music alive and making it available for generations of lifelong listeners and future fans.”
Prince Estate entertainment adviser Troy Carter added:
“The Sony team’s enthusiasm and deep knowledge of Prince’s music make them the ideal partner to release these iconic bodies of work. We’re looking forward to working with the heirs and Sony on giving fans what they’ve been waiting for — more great music from Prince.”
Well, come through!
While some may scoff at the business of amplifying music of the deceased, it’s the very thing that extends their legacies for years to come.
Prince is as legendary as legendary comes and moves like this will ensure future generations are gifted the ability to enjoy his genius. We’re here for it. Are you?