JAY-Z has clocked another week atop of the pack with his newest album ‘4:44.’
In its second eligible week on the tally, the truth-baring set reigns after shifting 91,821 sales-plus-stream units (of which 63,662 were pure sales).
However, there’s an arguably more interesting narrative playing out behind the scenes.
Full story below…
As many will recall, ‘4:44’ arrived via Jay’s streaming service TIDAL and remained there during a one week exclusivity window. Thereafter, it went “wide” and impacted all retail and streaming services – apart from Spotify.
So what’s Jay’s specific issue with the on-demand giant
beyond them snagging exclusive rights of Prince’s catalogue from TIDAL?
Well, historically the mogul has been unimpressed with Spotify’s free, ad-supported tier. Put simply, it’s a tangled tale of profits and percentages and one which has seen Jay remove all-but-one of his albums from the service.
No biggie, right?
Well, the answer depends on interpretation.
Because, according to Billboard, Jigga is losing out on up to $1 million a week by withholding ‘4:44’ from Spotify.
The estimation factors in a number of variables including Spotify’s market leader position and the average rate paid per song stream.
Using Drake’s ‘Views’ as a comparison, that album doubled its revenue to $20.7 million after landing on Spotify following an Apple Music launch period.
It’d hard to believe Jay is losing much sleep over this.
That said, while it’s inspiring to see Jigga navigating through these changing, streaming-led times playing by his own rules, one has to wonder whether it’s the fans who are losing out most?
Change could be on the horizon later down the line, though. As Spotify recently announced a deal with Universal that will allow select albums to appear on their paid premium tier only.