Shawn Carter, known professionally as rapper Jay Z, appears to have removed his entire solo album collection from Apple Music overnight. Now, when searching for “Jay Z” on Apple Music, only songs in which he collaborated on with other artists are available to stream on the service in the United States and elsewhere.
Jay Z co-owns Tidal, a rival streaming music service, so his decision to remove his discography from Apple Music could be for competitive reasons. Kanye West, another stakeholder in Tidal, also implied that there might be some animosity between Apple and Jay Z in a series of tweets last year.
Jay Z’s albums appear to have been removed from Spotify recently as well, however, so his decision might be unrelated to any potential feud with Apple. Spotify on Twitter today said it can “confirm that some of Jay Z’s catalogue has been removed at the request of the artist,” but it did not provide a specific reason.
Jay Z’s albums are still available for purchase on iTunes, while his wife Beyoncé still offers many of her songs and albums on Apple Music, including the newly added single “Die With You,” which was just released as a digital download today. However, the music video for “Die With You” is exclusive to Tidal.
Tidal’s other stakeholders, including Kanye West, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Daft Punk, Jack White, Madonna, Arcade Fire, Alicia Keys, Usher, and Calvin Harris, also continue to offer many of their songs and albums on Apple Music.
Tidal costs $9.99 per month, the same price as Apple Music, while a premium tier with high-fidelity sound is available for $19.99 per month. Tidal said it had over 3 million subscribers in March 2016, but recent reports have claimed it may have been falsely inflating the number of paying customers it had.
Apple Music had over 20 million subscribers as of last December, while Spotify recently announced it surpassed 50 million paying customers.
Sprint acquired a 33 percent stake in Tidal in January, and at the time it said it would give its customers “unlimited access to exclusive artist content not available anywhere else.” Under the deal, artists partnering with Tidal will create music that will only be available to the carrier’s customers.
It’s unclear at this point if Sprint’s acquisition had anything to do with Jay Z’s music being removed from Apple Music or Spotify.
Apple, Universal Music Group, and Roc Nation, the music label co-founded by Jay Z, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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