byÂ Charlotte Hassan
In a bid to boost subscriber numbers at Tidal, Jay Z has quietly swiped his Blueprint albums from competing music streaming sites. Â These coveted releases are now Tidal exclusives. Â Anyone surprised?
As firstÂ unearthed by Pitchfork, the legendary albums have now disappeared from Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Deezer, Rhapsody, and Amazonâ€™sÂ digital music store. Â It soon became apparent that the albums had been quietly pulled months ago. Â â€œJay Zâ€™sÂ BlueprintÂ albums have not been available on any streaming service except Tidal for a few months now,â€ a Spotify spokesperson told Pitchfork. Â â€œWe hope he brings them back soon so that his millions of fans on Spotify can enjoy them again.â€
Sheâ€™s not alone, thoughÂ Jay Zâ€™s decision was more tactical. Â Sensible or not, this is an obvious ploy to get users to sign up forÂ Tidal.
This all started back in April, when Jay Z decided to remove his first album,Â Reasonable Doubt, from Spotify. Â Since then, other Tidal supporters, like Rihanna, Beyonce, and Kanye West have all released exclusive content to Tidal. Â On his latest album, â€˜The Life of Pablo,â€™ Kanye West even went as far as tweeting,
â€My album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for saleâ€¦ You can only get it on Tidal.â€
This didnâ€™t quite work out for Kanye though, as his albumÂ didnâ€™t even reach the chartsÂ (though thatâ€™s another complicated story).
Thereâ€™s a slight problem here though. Â While trying to increase the number of subscribers and popularity of Tidal by making music exclusive to the service, restrictions also have the effect of limiting revenue overall. Â Case in point: Kanyeâ€™s exclusive album release single-handedly doubled Tidalâ€™s subscribers, while harming the overall impact of the release.
Against that â€˜learning,â€™ it will be interesting to see what effect, if any, Jay Zâ€™s music exclusivity has on TidalÂ subscriber numbers. Despite Jay Zâ€™s claims that his streaming service pays more per stream, whatâ€™s the use, if there are fewer people streaming their content?