Jay-Z has removed some of his music from Spotify, prompting rumors that other big names will follow suit following the relaunch of his streaming service, Tidal. The rapper’s 1996 debut album Reasonable Doubt is nowhere to be seen on the US version of Spotify, although it can still be streamed on competitor services including Google Play Music.
Most of Jay-Z’s other work does remain on Spotify, but experts are seeing the move as an attempt to undermine the service, which are seen by many as having a monopoly on the streaming market. Spotify has 60 million users, with Tidal attempting to court customers with HD sound quality and music videos for twice the monthly fee charged by their main competitor. Tidal was relaunched last month at a ceremony attended by Rihanna, Madonna and Kanye West amongst some of pop’s other leading lights.
Reaction to the relaunch of Tidal has been mixed, with some suggesting that the service offers very little that customers can’t get elsewhere for less. A number of labels are apparently putting pressure on Spotify to abandon the ad-supported free versions of the service they currently offer, with artists and labels of all sizes expressing concern about the amount of revenue being given to them by the company. Some experts claim a mass exodus from Spotify is unlikely, as Jay-Z is one of the few high-profile artists owning the rights to their own material.