Jay-Z’s thirteenth solo album has been illegally downloaded almost one million times since its release last Friday (June 30).
According to UK piracy analytics company MUSO (and reported on by MBW), 4:44 has been pirated 971,196 times via sites like The Pirate Bay and KickAssTorrents – the latter of which has been blocked by Australian ISPs under a new Federal Court ruling.
Naturally, as the owner of streaming service TIDAL, Jay-Z has made the record available exclusively on the platform, and it’s not clear when we’ll see it pop up on TIDAL’s competitors.
MUSO’s data showed 56% of these downloads came out of the US, while the UK was the second biggest culprit with a 5% share.
And when one self-professed pirate is Snoop Dogg – who claimed a friend ‘bootlegged’ it for him because he doesn’t have a TIDAL subscription – you know you have an issue.
“I don’t got TIDAL, so a n**ga had to bootleg it to me,” Snoop told XXL Mag. “I’m on iTunes and shit cuz, I don’t understand that—y’all gotta explain that to me. I went to iTunes looking for his album and I couldn’t find it.”
But MUSO data obtained by MBW suggests exclusives might not be to blame. It showed Drake’s More Life playlist was illegally downloaded 1.32m times in its first 72 hours of release in March. This is despite Drake’s decision not to release it as an exclusive.
In fact, the playlist debuted on all streaming services on March 18, including Apple Music and Deezer.
TIDAL’s paid subscriber base of 27 million pales in comparison to its rival Spotify (50m). So perhaps exclusives aren’t to blame, but in this instance, TIDAL exclusives just might be.