Jay Z removes (and returns) music from streaming services

It seems that acclaimed rapper Jay Z had an odd weekend. He took down his catalog from both Apple Music and Spotify over the weekend. By Monday afternoon, though, he had reversed course on Apple Music and returned his albums to that platform. Spotify still only has a limited selection from his catalog, mostly music by other artists where he was a featured or guest performer and a joint album with R. Kelly.

According to a Spotify statement, the removal was simply “at the request of the artist.” Jay Z owns Tidal, a streaming service that has offered several artists’ works as exclusives in the past. Jay Z already has some music that’s only accessible to stream on Tidal. He had removed debut album Reasonable Doubt and his Blueprint albums from all streaming services but Tidal. It’s unclear if the catalog takedown was meant as an enticement to drive more subscriptions to his platform, but the quick return to Apple Music might indicate other motives.

Anna Washenko