Rapper and entertainment mogul Shawn Carter, known to most as Jay-Z, has removed his albums from Apple Music and Spotify. As noted by MacRumors, all of his solo albums quietly disappeared from the two apps overnight.
It’s not yet known if the decision was Carter’s call, given that he owns the struggling music service Tidal, or a directive of wireless carrier Sprint, who recently purchased 33% of the company. Either way, the move is about exclusivity.
Update: Jay-Z’s music is back on Apple Music. We are not sure what happened.
Both Tidal and Apple Music have proven that offering exclusive content can help grow the user base. Tidal saw measurable success with Beyonce and Kanye West exclusives, as did Apple with albums from Drake and Chance the Rapper. It worked so well, in fact, that Spotify was accused of punishing artists who signed exclusivity deals.
For now, it looks like Jay-Z’s albums are still available for purchase in the iTunes Store, and some of his collaborative music is still on Apple Music. It remains to be seen if this is a temporary matter, or something more long term.