JAY Z has pulled one of his most popular albums from Spotify after launching artist-owned streaming service Tidal last week.
The rapper's 1996 debut Reasonable Doubt is no longer available in the US and Canada although the rest of his catalogue currently is, and it remains unknown whether he plans to "do a Taylor Swift" and remove all his songs. The album can currently still be streamed in all other territories, including the UK.
Tidal is backed by a host of high profile artists including Madonna, Kanye West, Beyonce, Daft Punk, Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys, Rihanna and Deadmau5. Beyonce and Rihanna both released exclusive music on the service over the weekend in a bit to entice new subscribers.
Jay Z owns his record label Rocnation and as such, is free to distribute his tracks as he pleases. Most musicians do not have this liberty, making it unlikely that other Tidal backers' songs will disappear from Spotify in the foreseeable future.
Jay Z insists that he does not intend to "sink" Spotify with Tidal, but "strike an honest blow" and shape the music industry to better benefit both artists and fans.
"I know everyone thinks "new company, main business competitor is Spotify" but we're really not here to compete with anyone, we're actually here to improve the landscape," he said at a Tidal Q&A at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.
"If just the presence of Tidal causes other companies to have better pay structure, or to pay more attention to it moving forward, then we've been successful in one way. So we don't really view them as competitors. As the tide rises, all the boats rise."
Spotify is staying silent on Jay Z's decision to remove Reasonable Doubt but promises to "keep working with every artist to ensure all your favourite music is on Spotify". Rocnation is yet to respond to our request for comment.
Interestingly, Taylor Swift's albums, with the exception of 1989, have appeared on Tidal. Swift said last year that she was "not willing to contribute my life's work to an experiment [Spotify] that I don't feel fairly compensates the writers, producers, artists and creators of music".
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.