Jay Z, hip-hop megastar, music business mogul, entrepreneur, and, significantly, the co-owner of streaming music site Tidal, has seemingly deployed a “nuclear option” of sorts. This apparently was done yesterday (April 7) as he pulled his catalog from competitor Spotify.
A search today on Spotify showed only two collaborative albums with R Kelly listed: Unfinished Business (2004) and Best Of Both Worlds (2002). There are now also only five singles, all collaborations: “Niggas In Paris” (Kanye featuring Jay), “Numb/Encore” (Linkin Park with Hova), “All The Way Up” (Fat Joe and Remy Ma feat. French Montana, Infared, and Jay Z), “Clique” (Big Sean with Jay Z and Kanye) and “Dirt Off Your Shoulders” (with Notorious B.I.G.).
Billboard reached out to Spotify and Jay Z and only heard back at press time from Spotify, which confirmed that “some of his catalog has been removed at the request of the artist.”
The move comes as Tidal, the company Jay Z launched in 2015 and heavily invested in, remains a distant finisher in the opaque streaming marketplace. The self-proclaimed more artist-friendly service trails leaders Spotify (50 million subscribers as of last count), Apple Music (20 million at last official count) and Amazon (never says, but when bundled with Amazon Prime could be well over 10 million). Tidal’s subscription numbers are thought to be under 3 million and perhaps on par with competitors Deezer and Napster
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