Since the birth of digital computers and recording devices, music has never been so common and easy to access across the world. Most music nowadays is easy to access with a common online technology called “Streaming”. This allows audio or video information to be sent through a bus in a series of 1s and 0s to hit our playback speakers in order to vibrate them and create audible sound! Any type of music may now travel thousands of miles instantly to be heard online via streaming.
According to BBC, “Prince was the ninth-most successful recording artist of 2016, despite his most famous recordings being withheld from streaming services. "The Purple Rain" singer, who died at the age of 57 of an accidental fentanyl overdose, fiercely guarded his music copyright. He famously removed his music from most major streaming services in 2015, but months after his death on April 21, 2016 his estate began making licensing deals to return his music to streaming services, one of the biggest revenue generators in the music industry.”
A year has past since his April 21 death, but interestingly enough, Prince’s catalog has sold more music than any other artist in 2017. Through the week ending April 13, his albums and songs moved more than 7.7 million copies over the past 12 months, according to Nielsen Music. Since Nielsen Music began tracking digital downloads in 2003, Prince has sold 18.6 downloads, meaning almost one-third of his total download sales have come since his death. It is clear to see that music like Prince’s is so empowering because not even death can stop music from being spread or rapidly shared throughout the world. During 2016-2017 the most downloaded song over the past year was “Purple Rain” with 621,000 downloads. Prince also sold the top selling album in the world titled "The Very Best of Prince," which sold 668,000 units. As Billboard reports, 2.3 million came from album sales, with the remaining 5.4 million from individual song downloads online.
Even in Prince's short life, he has certainly changed the way people feel and express emotion through music. His legacy and tunes will forever stand against the test of time as one of the world's best composer.