Fans of Jay-Z need to rejoice, as Shawn Carter’s whole back catalog is available on Spotify once again. Jay-Z’s music hasn’t been available on Spotify for more than two years, but it is now available once again just in time for Jay-Z’s 50th birthday.
Jay-Z’s Fractious Relationship With Spotify
Jay-Z—rapper, producer, record executive, entrepreneur, and husband to Beyonce—pulled his music off Spotify in April 2017. There was no reason given for this, with Spotify merely saying at the time that this was “at the request of the artist.”
The most likely explanation for this was Jay-Z’s unease at Spotify’s free tier. Other artists including Taylor Swift, Thom Yorke, and Coldplay have all criticized Spotify for giving music away and not compensating artists appropriately for their work.
However, it should also be noted that Jay-Z owns Tidal, which is a rival music streaming service, albeit one focused on delivering high-quality audio streams. And with so much competition in this sector, exclusive content is everything.
However, Jay-Z’s entire back catalog is now available to listen to on Spotify once again.
Jay-Z’s Entire Back Catalog Returns to Spotify
Spotify announced that Jay-Z was back on the streaming service in a tweet. It was posted on Jay-Z’s 50th birthday, as if Jay-Z was offering his music to his fans as a birthday gift. However, we suspect this is the result of some serious behind-the-scenes negotiations.
— Spotify (@Spotify) December 4, 2019
We also don’t know how long Jay-Z’s back catalog is going to remain on Spotify. Perhaps it’s permanent, or perhaps it’s a temporary arrangement. Either way, if you’re a Spotify user who is a fan of Jay-Z we suggest streaming his albums while you can.
Streaming Is the Present and Future of Music
This is good news, and not just for fans of Jay-Z. Artists need to accept that streaming is the future of music consumption, even if it means they have to work a little harder to make money. And consumers want to be able to stream all of their favorite artists.
If you want to delve deeper into streaming music, read our unofficial guide to Spotify.