Jay-Z’s 50th birthday is today and to celebrate, his entire music catalog is back on Spotify. Jay-Z’s catalog disappeared from competing services in 2017.
Jay-Z later returned his catalog work to Apple Music, but Spotify was left out to dry. At the time the removal, Spotify said it was done “at the request the artist.” Now Spotify welcomed him back with a quick tweet.
There’s no ficial statement from Jay-Z for why the music is back on Spotify. What changed? Jay-Z has notably railed against Spotify and its use algorithms for playlists.
In 2015 he released a single called “B Sides” in which he rips Spotify in a rap. That song also features criticisms Jimmy Iovine, the head Beats Music and YouTube for their low royalty payments to artists.
“You bought nine iPhones and Steve Jobs is rich
Phil Knight is worth millions, you still bought them kicks
Spotify is nine million, they ain’t say s**t.”
Jimmy Iovine fered a safety net
Google dangle’ round a crazy cheque
I feel like YouTube is the biggest culprit.”
Jay-Z says Tidal was founded as a way to give artists the pay they deserve. He for $56 million and later sold a 33% stake to Sprint, an American telecom provider. Sprint paid an estimated $200m for its stake in the company.
Artists like Madonna, Rihanna, Daft Punk, Kanye West, and Beyonce are all part owners the service. In 2018 some Jay-Z music briefly appeared on Spotify before being removed again. It’s likely this time the albums will stick since Spotify themselves are advertising the move.
Tidal has angled itself as a . Now it faces fierce competition as Amazon Music HD advertising ramps up. Maybe bringing his body work to Spotify is a way to combat a significant HD player.