Tidal wave as Jay Z's debut album disappears from Spotify

Catherine Neilan
Follow Catherine
Jay Z and friends including Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, DeadMau5 and Kanye West at the Tidal launch last week (Source: Getty)

Is this the beginning of a Tidal wave of artists pulling out from Spotify?

Jay Z fans this morning woke up to discover his classic debut album Reasonable Doubt was no longer available in the US and Canada. It's still available in the UK, however.
So far, the rest of his back catalogue, including The Black Album, Blue Print and more recently Magna Carta and his Kanye West collaboration Watch the Throne, remain available on the streaming service.
But the timing has got eyebrows raised, happening just one week after the man hailed as the 10th most successful artist of the 2000s revealed the details of his new venture Tidal.
Bought by the rapper, whose real name is Shawn Carter, for $56.2m (£37.5m), Tidal is being billed as ushering in “the beginning of the new world” (at least by Kanye). The $9.99 a month service promises high quality audio and access to exclusives, while offering artists a greater chunk of pay-per-play royalties than others.
As well as Jay Z and Kanye, Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire, Beyonce, Calvin Harris, Chris Martin, Daft Punk, Jack White, Jason Aldean, J. Cole, Deadmau5, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Usher have backed the project.
Already Tidal boasts two exclusives – Beyonce's new track Die with You and Rihanna's latest single American Oxygen – neither of which are on Spotify. It also had the video of Madonna's new song Ghosttown ahead of others.
At the time of the press conference, Jay Z acknowledged that “at some point” artists would have to choose between Tidal and Spotify.
He added: “[Tidal] isn’t just about music; it’s also about concert ticketing. It’s a holistic place where the artists will live in.
“You may be able to download a song for free, but you’re not getting into concerts for free. There are different things that we offer. It’s not just songs — we’re offering value.”
Spotify has previously been criticised for the low rate paid out to artists, with Taylor Swift publicly pulling her music last November.
The streaming service declined to comment on the specifics, but a spokeswoman said: ""We're going to keep working with every artist to ensure all your favourite music is on Spotify."

Related articles