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Jay-Z, a new album, and Spotify’s ongoing journey toward artist-friendly distribution

For the release of his newest work, Jay-Z opted to gate the album to his Tidal streaming service for one week. But even after distributing the music to most other digital platforms, Spotify still does not have 4:44. That may not be a cheap decision for the artist, and it also shows that Spotify has still not shaken some long-held assumptions among A-list performers. Continue Reading

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Jay-Z’s 4:44 will be available on Apple, but is already popular among pirates

Last week marked the release of 4:44, the much-anticipated new album from Jay-Z. The work was released as an exclusive to Tidal, which is owned by Jay-Z and Sprint, which bought a 33% stake at the start of 2017. The release has not been the smoothest of sailing, an indicator that exclusive album releases are still a contentious approach to distribution that require careful planning to be successful. Continue Reading

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New Jay-Z album marks first exclusive for Tidal and Sprint

Jay-Z is releasing a new album at the end of the month, but it will be exclusive to his Tidal streaming platform. This new exclusive title, 4:44, marks the first such development for Tidal after its partnership with Sprint. In January, Sprint purchased a 33% stake in the streaming company. With this first shared exclusive, new customers of the telecom’s can have a six-month free trial of Tidal HiFi and listen to the new album for free. Continue Reading

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Jay-Z answers some questions about Tidal’s role and model

Since its A-lister relaunch, Tidal has been taking over the news headlines. Some of the buzz has been positive about the potential for artists to get more directly involved in the streaming music conversation. Some has been decidedly less positive about how closely Tidal’s design now resembles Spotify’s. But some of the most interesting news have come directly from the man at the center. Continue Reading

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Tidal’s new subscription plans & artist ownership: will it work?

Tidal may still be a small player in subscriber numbers, but the high-res streaming platform is taking up a lion’s share of news in recent months. Today, we have more information about what Tidal will look like under the helm of Jay-Z and his business enterprise. The idea of being a streaming service for and by the artists is a fine one, but it still needs to make a pitch to listeners in order to stay afloat. Continue Reading

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Tidal gets star-studded relaunch promo under Jay-Z

Jay-Z’s efforts to purchase streaming services Tidal and WiMP from Aspiro generated a bit of drama, but the hi-res streaming service is relaunching today with even more celebrity backing. Performers including Madonna, Kanye West, Deadmau5, and Beyonce took to social media to tout the platform with the #TIDALforALL hashtag. While the star power can certainly help raise the profile for business (it currently has just 17,000 paid subscribers), it’s unclear whether the service will be getting any changes to its features or design under the new management. Continue Reading