So what is all the hullabaloo about Prince "giving" away his new CD with a newspaper all about? Well the easy answer is money. The better answer is Prince is trying something different...again.
Remember, this isn't the first time Prince has done something "new" with CD sales. Rolling Stone considered Prince's 2004 tour to be the top earner of the year. Every ticket for those concerts had a $10 fee built into the cost which gave the concertgoers a copy of his then-new album Musicology if they wanted one or not.
(By the way, the source of rage from music shop owners is strong because new CDs in England typically go for about 16.99 pounds which translates into $34.49 in America. HMV is selling Planet Earth at 8.99 pounds ($18.25) on their website currently. A price American's would rightfully laugh at.)
The same principle is now in play now on a smaller and less expensive scale. Whether you want it or not, you get a Prince CD with The Daily Mail on Sunday. This will allow Prince to reach a much larger audience than he could ever expect through "normal" CD purchase. And I would imagine, with the assumption that the new album is good, that his back catalogue might see a health jump. In the long run, this experiment may proof profitable by generating new CD sales and alerting the music media in America that there is a new Prince album coming, which in turn could lead to more record sales. We did enjoy his Super Bowl half time performance after all.
And please don't mention Prince's name being a musical philanthropist. It reminds me of a line from The Simpson's Mr. Burns, "I trade it all for just a little more."