If you're a fan of the Purple One but haven't heard his new music because of its Tidal exclusivity, you're in luck — it's being made available to the world at-large. Prince's new album HITNRUN Phase One was released exclusively on the streaming service last Monday, but it's now being sold as both a CD and a digital download on Tidal's website. Fans who aren't Tidal subscribers can make the purchases too, rendering the album's exclusivity null and void at a price. (It seems even Tidal can't escape the allure of good old-fashioned album purchases.)
A Tidal spokesperson confirmed that this is the first time the service has opened its doors to non-subscriber purchases of an artist's music. It's a feature many other streaming services include: Apple Music is obviously coupled to Apple's iTunes Store, and smaller services like Rdio have their own associated MP3 stores. (Spotify is a notable absence: it sells merchandise and links out to offers on physical products like vinyl, but there's no way to buy its MP3s or directly purchase associated physical copies.)
I'm sure Tidal's happy to let him experiment
With that said, it's not the first time Prince has navigated the grey area between exclusive and non-exclusive using his relationship with Tidal. He streamed a May concert in Baltimore for free using the service and made it available to subscribers and non-subscribers alike; when he yanked his music from all streaming services save Tidal in July, he left a new song behind on Spotify like a mint on a hotel pillow. I'm sure Tidal is happy to let him experiment and sell his music in unexpected ways: every article about his decisions or HITNRUN Phase One purchases means more eyes on the service and more data on its servers.