Fans of hip-hop artist Jay-Z have noticed that his albums have disappeared from both Spotify and Apple Music. Jay-Z is the owner of a competing music streaming service called Tidal.
Most of the original albums have been removed, however, content where he is a featured artist or collaborator, and maybe not the only owner of the content, is still available for streaming. Representatives from Tidal haven’t officially publicized the move, but Spotify is confirming the move to its fans through its social media outlets.
The war of the streaming services:
Back in January, Tidal was in the news after Sprint decided to acquire a 33% stake, which would allow the company to offer its customers exclusive content and other collaborations with the music streaming service.
In recent months also, Tidal had several rumors of acquisition; Spotify, Google and other services reportedly were showing interest in the streaming service.
Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv claimed that Tidal had inflated its subscriber numbers, which posed serious questions about Tidal’s growth and subscriber numbers during the time of Sprint’s acquisition.
The newspaper claimed that the service had only 850,000 subscribers, not the 3 million it reported back in March of last year.
Late last month, Apple Music had an estimate of 40 million users on mobile, putting it ahead of Spotify, despite Spotify’s claim that it has 50 million paying subscribers versus a total 20 million for Apple.
Exclusive and original content is king:
If news of Jay-Z removing his albums from the services turn out to be real, not just a temporary mistake, then it will make the fight between Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal and the other streaming services over subscribers with exclusive content even more ruthless.
Both Spotify and Apple Music are stepping up their efforts to come up with original content. Most recently, Spotify announced plans for its first original series as a counteraction against to Apple’s Carpool Karaoke. Both will arrive exclusive for subscribers next month.
Abroad, competition is heating up as well after Google Play Music undercut Apple Music in India.