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You can listen to the new Beyonce and Jay-Z album on Spotify and Apple Music now

You don’t need to subscribe to Tidal, Jay-Z’s streaming service, to listen. That’s a change.

Beyonce and Jay-Z from the video “Apeshit” via YouTube
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Over the weekend, Jay-Z and Beyonce released a new album and said you would only be able to listen to it on Tidal, the streaming service co-owned by Jay-Z and Beyonce.

That exclusive is over: You can now listen to The Carters’ “Everything is Love” on Spotify if you are one of Spotify’s 75 million paid subscribers. The rest of Spotify’s 170 million users will be able to listen in two weeks, once a “premium window” expires, says a Spotify PR rep.

I’m assuming that means the album will also be available on other streaming services like Apple Music and YouTube Music, though I don’t see it on either. (Update: Now it’s on Apple Music. A YouTube rep says the album is coming.)

What’s important here:

  • The entire point of Tidal was that the streaming service would take on Spotify by offering exclusive music from artists like Jay-Z and other musicians who had equity stakes in the company. But that hasn’t panned out: With the exception of a few albums, like Beyonce’s “Lemonade,” almost everything on Tidal is available on Spotify and other services.
  • The fact that Jay-Z and Beyonce aren’t trying to keep this one locked up on Tidal isn’t a good sign for Tidal, which hasn’t put out a new subscriber number since 2016, when it said it had 3 million users. And there is doubt about that number.
  • Spotify’s two-week premium window shows you the effect of new label deals the service signed last year, in advance of its public offering. Spotify agreed to keep some albums behind a temporary paywall in exchange for better royalty rates. Now they’re putting those terms into action.

Here’s “Apeshit,” the first video from the album, which has been widely available since Saturday.

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