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.
“Jay Z is a global icon and we’re giving customers an incredible opportunity to be among the first to experience his new album 4:44,” Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said.
It’s unclear from the available information how limited the digital distribution for the album will be or for how long. With artists, especially ones with the cultural caché of Jay-Z, able to maneuver unique deals for when and how their music can be heard, there’s no pre-defined path for the rollout of 4:44.
We’re also getting hints that Jay-Z’s new project might follow the trend of recent releases from Beyoncé and Frank Ocean by featuring a heavy visual component. The album is being promoted with billboards and YouTube videos featuring noteworthy actors Mahershala Ali, Lupita Nyong’o, and Danny Glover.