Jay Z has pulled much of his music from Spotify, a main competitor to the streaming service he co-owns, Tidal.
Late last week, the service honored the hip-hop icon and entrepreneur’s request to remove most of his catalog, Billboard reports, excluding collaborations with other artists including R. Kelly, Kanye and Linkin Park. A 2010 hits collection, including tracks “Izzo” and “99 Problems,” is still available at time of publication, as well.
While earlier reports claimed Jay Z also pulled his work from Apple Music, his catalog remains in place on that service.
The move is an evident attempt to draw more subscribers over to Tidal, the self-proclaimed artist-friendly service that has lagged behind Spotify and Apple in subscribers. While Spotify boasts around 50 million users and Apple 20 million, Tidal claimed last year it reached the 3 million subscriber mark ― but that number is thought to be significantly lower.
As TechRadar points out, one particular reason for the move may be that Spotify is preparing to launch a higher quality audio feature that’s been a main selling point for Tidal, which bills itself as “the first music service with High Fidelity sound quality.” Spotify Hi-Fi, as the new service would reportedly be called, would allow users CD-quality streaming.
Maybe it was also just that time for Jay Z to pack up and go. He’s been an outspoken critic of tech companies over artists’ pay, blasting Google (which owns YouTube), Spotify and Apple at a New York event in 2015 by rapping: “Them n***as pay you a tenth of what you’re supposed to get / You know n***as die for equal pay, right? / You know when I work I ain’t ya slave, right?”
As for music by Jay Z’s wife, Beyoncé, it’s safe on Spotify ― for now ― other than her most recent “Lemonade” album, which never appeared on the service.
The Huffington Post has reached out to Jay Z’s reps, along with Spotify’s, and will update this post accordingly.