Digital Transformation

Jay Z's first album waves goodbye to Spotify as Tidal exodus commences

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

April 8, 2015 | 3 min read

Jay Z has pulled his first album ‘Reasonable Doubt’ from music streaming service Spotify US and Canada in a move to bolster the exclusivity of his newly launched rival Tidal.

The musician and entrepreneur, who snapped up Aspiro - and as a result its Tidal and WiMP music services in March for $56m - has upped his offensive on Spotify with Beyoncé and Rihanna also launching ‘Die With You’ and ‘American Oxygen’ respectively, and exclusively, on the new platform.

This comes as a plethora of artists, including most famously Taylor Swift, have hit out at Spotify for what they assert is unfair pay.

On the other hand, Spotify argues that it is breathing fresh life into a dead market, monetising consumers who were previously in the habit of pirating their music.

Differentiating it from established services, Tidal claims to be a platform ‘By artists, for artists’ and for $20 a month, users can access its library of high definition tracks. However, Jay Z’s service has not had a shortage of critics since its gaffe-ridden launch on 30 March.

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Among the sceptics is an apologetic Lily Allen who criticised the service on Tuesday. She said by raising streaming prices, Tidal risks driving music lovers back to piracy.

She added: “Unless Tidal start sending everyone good quality headphones, the resolution thing is kinda redundant."

Richard Cohen, chief executive of music media company LoveLive, discussed in The Drum on Tuesday, the value of unique music engagements and events, provided in conjunction with the established music streaming model - a structure which could prove to make or break Tidal.

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