Jay Z has just done his own business, TIDAL, a big favour.
The rap superstar has pulled three of his biggest albums – The Blueprint Trilogy – from rival streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music.
But he hasn’t stopped there.
The albums (2001’s The Blueprint, 2002’s The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse, and 2009’s The Blueprint 3) are also no longer available on iTunes or Amazon MP3.
The move has resulted in the latest big exclusive for TIDAL, following the release of Kanye West album The Life Of Pablo last month.
TLOP remains only officially available on TIDAL, although it was downloaded illegally 500,000 times in its first 24 hours on the market.
In its release week, West tweeted “My album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal.”
He added: “Please to all my friends fans and music lovers. Sign up to Tidal now.”
“In other words, the life of pablo included, there are now at least three big-name tidal exclusive albums associated with UMG.”
As for Jay Z’s album trilogy, which has disappeared from the likes of Spotify within the past couple of months, this is not the first time the mogul has pulled an exclusive with his own material.
In April last year, his debut LP – Reasonable Doubt – was yanked from Spotify but remained on TIDAL.
That album now appears to have resurfaced on Apple Music, Spotify and other services.
Jay Z’s biggest singles are also still available on TIDAL’s rival platforms this morning via ‘The Hits Collection’, alongside other albums such as Watch The Throne, The Black Album, Magna Carta… Holy Grail and American Gangster.
Jay Z’s classic album The Blueprint (2001) was his sixth album release in five years and arrived on his own label, Roc A Fella, via Universal’s Def Jam.
The Blueprint 2 (2002) was released via the same model.
But in 2004, everything changed when Jay Z was named President and CEO of Def Jam Recordings at UMG.
At the same time, the remaining 50 percent stake of Roc-A-Fella Records was sold to its parent label, Island Def Jam, for a reported $10m.
The Blueprint 3 (2009) was issued on Roc Nation via Warner’s Atlantic – reuniting Jay Z with then-WMG exec and former Island Def Jam head Lyor Cohen.
In other words, The Life Of Pablo included, there are now at least three big-name hip-hop albums associated with UMG that are exclusively available on TIDAL.
Tensions appear to be running a little high between the major music company and the digital service.
Back in January, TIDAL publicly blamed UMG for a Rihanna release blunder which led to the early leak of her latest album ANTI.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a senior UMG exec called TIDAL’s accusations “ridiculous”.
“They are trying to pass blame for their own incompetence,” the mole told MBW.
You have to wonder what UMG boss Lucian Grainge makes of Jay Z’s latest TIDAL power move.Music Business Worldwide