If you are a fan of Jay Z's music and a subscriber of either Spotify or Apple Music, you might have noticed a lack of his music this weekend. That is because the artist's music was removed from those services at the request of the artist. The move was done without prior communication with either service, but has been confirmed as an active decision. At this point, the only music you will find from Jay Z are singles, mostly collaborations with other artists.
It is interesting to note that, as of this writing, his catalog is still fully available on both Groove Music and Google Play Music. It could be that no request was ever made to these services to remove his content, or that the services have simply not yet responded to the request.
The move comes at an interesting time for Jay Z, as his own music streaming service, TIDAL, has struggled since before he purchased it. The service has consistently struggled to find an audience, but has continued to stress its two major benefits: FLAC audio and exclusive content. With talk of Spotify implementing FLAC streaming, exclusives will remain as its benefit.
With a new investor in wireless carrier Sprint, the streaming service needs to demonstrate a confidence in themselves. Part of that outward show of confidence could be emphasizing that Jay Z himself is confident enough in the service to make his catalog exclusive, or even semi-exclusive, to TIDAL.