The renowned hip-hop artist and owner of the Tidal streaming service has returned the majority of his albums to Apple Music.
As reported by TIO at the weekend, Jay Z quietly removed most of his music from streaming services Spotify and Apple Music. But as the owner of its direct competitor, it came much to the surprise of no one.
Now, it appears he’s backtracked on the decision with all but his three Blueprint albums and his solo debut Reasonable Doubt available on Apple Music; meaning he’s returned eight solo albums to his competitor.
However, it seems his beef with Spotify – and now Google Play Music – remains, with much of his discography missing from the two services.
As pointed out by Engadget this morning, Jay Z’s hold-out could have something to do with Spotify’s recent licensing agreement with Universal Music Group. Spotify won a lower-revenue take by UMG but Universal has reportedly set Spotify paid-subscriber growth targets in return. If the streaming giant doesn’t reach them, UMG has the option to either postpone its reduced revenue share or give it up entirely.
Jay Z’s connection to the UMG/Spotify deal is this: his Roc-A-Fella records label is part of Universal and the aforementioned agreement could be currently affecting his broader industry negotiations.
Right now, it’s anyone’s guess. One thing is for certain though, if the move makes Jay Z fans subscribe to loss-making Tidal (it reported a US$28 million loss for 2015), then it’s a smart choice by the mogul.