It appears Prince’s estate is going after Jay Z and his streaming service, Tidal.
Back in October, it was reported that the 46-year-old hip-hop mogul made a $40 million offer for the exclusive rights to Prince’s catalog of unreleased music. But according to TMZ, Prince’s estate rejected the bid, stating it didn’t want to allow “Roc Nation to exploit any of the intellectual property assets of the Estate." For what it's worth, L. Londell McMillan, an advisor to Prince's estate, recently told Billboard he had "no knowledge of any discussions in that report" with regards to Jay Z's involvement and added, "There is no sale [of Prince’s music assets], and those responsible for the assets are not in discussions with anyone regarding a sale."
Soon after Jay Z’s reported offer made the news cycle, it was announced Universal Music Publishing Group had inked an agreement with the late singer’s estate, and the company was designated as the exclusive administrator of Prince’s entire catalog of music. It probably wasn’t the news Jay Z wanted to hear, but you can’t feel too bad for him: He still has rights to Prince’s previously released material…right?
Though Prince had given exclusive streaming rights to Tidal back in 2015, his estate claims that the streaming service was not authorized to release 15 of his albums following his death in April of 2016. And because Jay Z and Tidal were not given permission to stream those projects, the company could be forced to pay up. Additionally, Prince’s estate has acknowledged that the singer made a deal with Jay Z for the release of his 2015 album, HitNRun Phase One; however, they claim the did not have any evidence that Prince received the $750,000 payment to close the deal.
Stay tuned to see how this all unfolds.