Gosh – this has been bothering me all day…the more I think about it, the more irked I get at Prince. So for those of you who don't know and haven't been following it on Twitter – Prince did an exclusive interview with The Mirror in which he made some statements like "The internet is over" and how he is searching for new ways to distribute his music since he refuses to make his music available online…
Now before I get into this, let me say that I do adore Prince. He's made some killer music, especially in the 80s and I've always thought that he is truly a living legend. But if I'm being honest, I haven't really maintained my fandom in recent years and I've let my Prince fan club membership expire because well, he's not out there much these days.
In reading the feature on Prince on the The Mirror's website, I'm sure Prince's comments were probably rather flippant, but they do hold a lot of weight coming from someone like him and it's really been bothering me…so let's examine them a bit shall we?…
"The internet's completely over. I don't see why I should give my new music to iTunes or anyone else. They won't pay me an advance for it and then they get angry when they can't get it".
Hmmm Prince, the internet is over? I wonder how many people paid top dollar on the internet to go and see you live. I wonder how people found out about your live shows and trolled every internet ticket site they could find to score the best tickets to your recent shows. I wonder how many people paid double, triple and even more on eBay to get one of your tickets…and you're really that worried about getting an advance on your new CD?
"The internet's like MTV. At one time MTV was hip and suddenly it became outdated. Anyway, all these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you."
The internet is not like MTV. MTV is a music and entertainment channel and it's still going strong today. How is it outdated? You should be so lucky that MTV embraced you and your music in the 80s and put your videos on it which enabled and excited people to go out and buy your CD in the shops which then in turn allowed you to have private nightclubs, grand pianos and concert venues in your house. The internet does for artists today what MTV did for you back in the 80s. It made you a star dear Prince and this statement kinda makes you sound really really unappreciative and unsupportive of new artists trying to achieve a fraction of your success today. And how are iPods any different than the CD walkmans and cassette players I used to listen to your music on? Last time I checked, my iPod wasn't whispering algebraic formulas into my head – it just likes playing the music I tell it to play…
"It's great that it (my new album 20TEN) will be free to readers of your newspaper. I really believe in finding new ways to distribute my music."
First of all, new ways to distribute your music? Via a newspaper?! If any form of media is outdated, it's PRINT. And second of all, why the hell would you want to give away your new music in a newspaper like the The Mirror? Talk about marginalizing your fans. You couldn't pay me to go out on a Saturday, kill a tree and spend money on a newspaper like The Mirror. I am not a fan of their content (in fact this article is the first thing I've read in The Mirror in years – ONLINE mind you) and I'm not about to buy a newspaper just because your new album is in it. I would love to hear your new album Prince, but PLEASE…if it's only available one day in a newspaper – you just lost an opportunity for me to renew my fan club membership. If it's not online for me to buy, I'll probably have to then just get sent a link to download it for FREE later. So don't go expecting me to buy a newspaper just because you don't believe in having an internet connection. I wonder how much The Mirror paid you to distribute your new album…something to think about.
So there – I said it and I feel better for saying it. Prince, you are a genius and you are a little bit wacko, but these comments about the internet have kinda put me off your new music. Any curiosity I had about your new album has just been squashed. How can I relate to your music when you clearly put down the single most important distribution tool that has helped new artists garner instant fan-bases around the world when MTV doesn't focus on music anymore? You seem so consumed about money and advances and isn't music supposed to be about the art anyways? I'd rather buy someone else's album online than put money into the pocket's of a dying form of media. Yes, new artists aren't making the bank you are, but as someone who has been a pioneer of pop music, I expect more support from the likes of you. It's ok to blast record labels for their mismanagement of their companies, but don't treat your fans and future fans of your music like we are criminals because we want to purchase your music online.