In the wake of opening his own streaming service, TIDAL, last week, rapper and music mogul Jay Z has removed some of his most notable music from his primary competitor, Spotify. Now fans will need to purchase a physical copy of his critically acclaimed 1996 Reasonable Doubt album or cough up the $9.99 or $19.99 a month to stream it on TIDAL. It is unknown at this time if any other albums in Jay Z’s discography will be pulled from Spotify.
Since announcing its premiere, several artists have made exclusive debuts on TIDAL. On the eve of her seventh anniversary with hubby and founder Jay Z, Beyoncé revealed a behind-the-scenes peek into a new song titled “Die With You.” Following the debut of “American Oxygen” live at the March Madness Music Festival, Rihanna released the music video on TIDAL. Nicki Minaj is also in the works of planning several exclusive drops, one allegedly coming soon and another “biggie” in a few weeks. The streaming service is currently the only online service streaming Taylor Swift’s discography, including her hugely successful 2014 1989.
With all of the high profile exclusives, Jay Z is attempting to convince users of the importance of his service in the wake of refusing free streaming. It is believed that the content found only on TIDAL will be growing in the near future. Experts are speculating, “the plan is to increase the pressure on fans to choose…through deals with artists [and] with concert promoters and other parts of the industry.”
Although Jay Z and his fellow co-owners have been repping the service hard in the last weeks, there are still some artists who remain hesitant to believe in TIDAL as the answer to the free streaming phenomenon. The day that the service was unveiled, Lily Allen very publicly expressed her dismay and expectations that it would damage careers for up and coming acts. Marina Diamandis also revealed that she isn’t a fan of the service, claiming that it seems to be more about the owners making money than helping the artists and the art continue to grow. She cited the use of prodigiously business-oriented musicians, all of whom are worth millions, as evidence that the service would be lining their pockets. Jennifer Lopez also revealed that she knows nothing about the service, and she seemed entirely unbothered by her lack of knowledge.
It remains to be seen how TIDAL will fare as Jay Z and his collaborators refuse to bend to the trend of free streaming. With the exclusive content, many fans may be leaving behind Spotify to be on the cutting edge of musical advances; however, many listeners have expressed a similar outrage at being expected to pay $240 a year to listen to music. Only time will tell how the project will evolve.
FDRMX Eyes: Nick Duetsch is an up and coming singer-songwriter who lives in New York City. Duetsch recently premiered his music video for “Crazy Ride.”