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Jay Z pulls albums from Spotify to see if you'll switch to Tidal [Updated]

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Update April 10: No sooner had Jay Z's music disappeared from two of the top music streaming platforms than it returned, in part, to one of them. 

Many of the artist's albums are back on Apple Music, though as Engadget (opens in new tab) notes his Blueprint and Reasonable Doubt discs are not. These same albums are actually MIA from Google Play's storefront as well.

As for Spotify, Jay Z's albums remain of the streaming shelves. Spotify said over the weekend the albums were removed at Jay Z' request, and there's no word yet on when the music will return.

Original article below...

If you're struggling to find any of Jay Z's music on your favorite streaming service of choice this weekend, you're not the only one - the superstar artist has apparently pulled most of his catalog from the Spotify and Apple Music (opens in new tab) libraries.

No official announcement has been forthcoming, but the move may or may not be because Jay Z owns Tidal (opens in new tab), the high-resolution audio streaming service still looking to get a foothold in the market.

The music services haven't commented on the issue either, though Spotify (opens in new tab) has confirmed that the albums were pulled at the request of Jay Z himself. There's no change in the music available from Jay Z's wife Beyoncé, at least for now.

Do touch that dial

You may have better luck outside the US trying to find Jay Z's creative works, thanks to the intricacies international licensing laws, and you can still find most of the rapper's catalog on smaller music services such as Google Play Music and Deezer (opens in new tab) as well.

One reason for the change might be that Spotify is preparing a lossless audio tier (opens in new tab) of its own, which would take away one of Tidal's key selling points. Similar rumors have swirled around Apple Music and iTunes for a number of years.

Whether Jay Z fans will switch to Tidal en masse remains to be seen but it's another reminder of the way streaming music services work - you're not buying these songs, you're renting them for as long as they're available.

Via MacRumors (opens in new tab)

David Nield
David Nield

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.