The Breakdown was a digital single released on 18 April 2014, as a stand-alone Prince single. Five months later, The Breakdown (as Breakdown) was included on Prince's 37th studio album Art Official Age and can be considered the album's second single (after Breakfast Can Wait).
It was made available on iTunes and Spotify just before midnight in Minneapolis, (several hours after a press release announcing a major deal between Prince and Warner Bros. Records).
It was made available on Amazon USA on 22 April 2014, worldwide on iTunes on 23 April 2014 and worldwide on Amazon, Google Play, 7Digital and Qobuz on 25 April 2014.
The song was first publicly played by DJ Rashida prior to Prince's DJ set on 19 January 2013, Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant, Minneapolis, MN, USA and had been played live throughout 2013.
The download page on iTunes reflects the the new deal with Warner Bros. Records as it reads:
"The copyright in this sound recording is owned by NPG Records under exclusive license to Warner Bros. Records, Inc."