Jay-Z Starts Pulling His Albums from Spotify…

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As of this morning, Jay Z’s classic debut album, Reasonable Doubt, has been pulled from Spotify.  This appears to be a US-based removal, though other Spotify territories may soon follow.

Other Jay Z albums are also expected to follow, possibly later this week.

Of course, Reasonable Doubt is available on TIDAL, Jay Z’s recently-purchased and relaunched music subscription service.  But other services, including Beats Music (owned by Apple), still have the Reasonable Doubt album.

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And, for that matter, so does YouTube.

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42 Responses

  1. FarePlay

    Without the celebrity connections or respect, Spotify is going to get hurt or spend a lot of IPO money.

    • Edward Jennings

      I expect Jay-Z to remove his content from Rdio.

    • DNog

      feel free not to brb after that joke and spare us all.

      • PiratesWinLOL

        Joke? What joke? Spotify should simply do like Google and allow 50.000 personal uploads, so that the subscriber can deal with any difficult artist himself. It should take no more than 10 minutes for a person with a descent internet connection.

        • DNog

          Your name is the epitome of irony. Cool story guy.

  2. Versus

    Good. More artists should do the same.

    But at the same time, piracy has to be controlled.

    • Anonymous

      Putting his music exclusively on a single service doesn’t help anyone. Not even him.

      It blows my mind that so many artists defend him and think putting his music exclusively on a single service is going to help the industry because it somehow harms Spotify. We have had near-monopoly’s in music sales to consumers before (hello iTunes). We really don’t want to go down that road again but that is exactly what putting exclusives on Tidal is aiming for.

  3. ecosystem for content creators

    Hi everyone,
    i’m currently developing a new platform intended for musicians to form a community around content creation, where we can financially support each other by collaborating and remixing each others works online, and then pay each other for stem downloads and project mixdowns.

    In light of the recent debates over Tidal and trying to find ways for middle class musicians to earn money for their work, i’d like to throw out my companys pitch to you and see what you think about what we’re offering:

    Who are we?:
    We are a crowdsourced music platform that allows amateur and professional musicians to collaborate, remix, and monetize their original works online.

    What do we know? :
    Music simply means more to people who create it. Rather than focusing our efforts on convincing music listeners to pay for music, we are finding ways for creators to support each other by doing what they love best; making music.

    What is our mission?:
    To establish sustainable revenue streams through collaboration and content creation.

    We offer 3 value propositions:

    1) Collaborate: We enable artists to collaborate more efficiently by crowdsourcing musical ideas online. Users can simply upload pieces of a song, then have others build unto it by uploading or recording their own sounds below the project ‘source track’.

    2) Remix: By incorporating beat matching technology that enables sounds of different speeds and pitches to match instantaneously; we’re leveling the playing field for all creators, and opening the doors for a multitude of cross genre ideas.

    3) Monetize: Through micro-transactions for stem downloads and project mix-downs; musicians have an ability to generate revenue from their contributions, remixes, and shared works.

    Encompassing all of these great features is an innovative copyright system that is seamlessly integrated into our social platform; providing maximum control for our original creators, yet reasonable flexibility for our remixers.

    Overall our mission is to establish an open and collaborative culture amongst professional and amateur musicians, making it easier than ever for you to monetize your songs from every stage of the creative process. We believe that this platform can become a new ecosystem for content creators.

    I would really like to get your feedback. Would you use this platform? (Why or why not?), What are the most important features you would need to use this platform?


    • Fareplay

      What happened to real musicians, who play real instruments, creating original music from nothing?

      • Anonymous

        I’m tired of this line of rhetoric…

        Just because someone plucks a guitar string does not mean they know anything about music and most certainly does it not make them more worthy to be involved in music…

        I get slagged off all the time because some people think that just because someone plucks a string and blows some air into an instrument and then plays cover songs of someone elses music, that they are more worthy and more deserving…

        Music is music is music is music and can be constructed and created in numerous ways, you people and your self deserving more righteous then thou mindset all because you play some instrument but cant play other new instruments such as the computer or synthesizers better then thou ideology is just one more thing ruining music and the business, it actually turns me right off band music, i cant stand it anymore, all i ever think when i see or hear it is, oh boy, are these another group of these self deserving musos who think just cause they can pluck a string that makes them the reincarnation of jesus or god almighty and that immediately no matter how poor their music is just because they pluck a string that immediately by default makes it better then someone who uses a midi keyboard and a computer and a DAW, its awful…

        If Jesus were alive today, im sure he would incorporate some new tools and technologies into his construction work and i doubt hed be wearing sandles and using wooden hammers still, give me a freaking break…

        Make me a song and do it however you have to do it, dont come at me with that lame superior holier then thou string plucking b.s., the music doesnt care, the record doesnt care and the song doesnt care, and id say 99% of the holier then thou self deserving musos couldnt bang a decent tune together without employing a producer, who may or may not know how to play any instruments at all… So in that sense the koombaya singing muso is like a mailroom seaman taking orders from the captain because they dont know how to do their job otherwise, and there is nothing wrong with that, the mailroom seaman are just as important, its suppose to be a team effort after all…

        Just another good reason to avoid the music business…

        Im as real as it gets sweetheart, and i do play the odd instrument, just not as well as id like to, and i make music with or without real instruments, with varying technigues, one thing i dont do is restrict myself and confine myself in a little tiny wee box, but i assure you, im flesh with organs and a beating heart, i write and compose and produce and record and perform and mix and master and design, it dont get much realer then that…

        So send me your holier then thou real musicians the only ones making real music, and lets throw them in a studio all by themselves and see what they come up with, then we will see whos more real…



          • Anonymous

            me too man, i’m about done with it, just grinding out the last little bit here, i’m sick and tired of how all this has made me and i need to get back to who i am, i’m , not this cynical and i cant stand slagging people off…

            funny thing is after that post i was driving down the street and saw some people that made me feel bad that i had ever said such things, certainly i am not happy how i have acted and the things i have said and im realizing there is no way for me to be myself in music, any part of it…

            i need to get back to the higher-ground and maintain that position, all this little school yard pebble tossing just isnt me and doesnt interest me, time for a switch up…

            apologies for anything ive ever said, not happy with any of it…

            i bid you adieu kind sir…

      • ecosystem for content creators

        Musicians who play instruments and create original work will play as much of an important role on our platform as music software users. Dj’s and producers are constantly looking for unique sounds to sample and remix, and original creators can provide that content and generate revenue from these producers.
        So in that sense; dj’s and producers have a demand, and original creators provide the supply.

        We also stand behind the idea that original creators who adopt a Creative Commons license for their uploaded content can reap greater benefits from having their tracks sampled and remixed multiple times by other creators. Our platform is capable of tracing all sampled and remixed content on the site back to the first user who uploaded it (the original creator), enabling that user to earn revenue everytime any version of his track is download or mixed down for a fee.

        • Sarah

          Some nice ideas. 🙂

          A few questions:

          Where does the money come from? Creators? End consumers? Ads?

          What about something that is created on your platform and then put on YouTube/Soundcloud (by anyone)?

          • ecosystem for content creators

            Hi Sarah,
            Yes the money comes from creators, but the majority of it also goes to creators. When dealing with stem downloads and paying for mixdowns, the creators essentially become consumers of a different kind of music product. This crossover between a beatmarket and online collaboration service offers a great way for musicians to support each other.

            A project will only be mixed down by users who contributed a track to it, and in order for a mixdown to occur, all tracks must be creative commons. This way any final piece of collaborative work that is uploaded to youtube or soundcloud will already have permission from the owners (plus the original owners would have already received a mixdown fee by the user who orders the mixdown).
            Although we make all uploaded track creative commons by default, we make sure to add a ‘non commercial’ to the creative commons so that users do no worry about their content being monetized off the site without their consent.

      • jw

        What happened to cracker jacks & sock hops & sunday walks down the boardwalk? And soda jerks & hoola hoops?

        Also, get off my yard. You’ll kill the grass with your electrofangled musical tunes!

    • Paul Resnikoff

      You might want to check out the competitive space, specifically for artist-to-artist services (or, creator-to-creator, for lack of better categorization). I’ve seen a few models over the years, including beats marketplaces, etc.

      • ecosystem for content creators

        Thanks Paul, there are definitely players in the space that choose to focus on 1 of the 3 offerings that I mentioned; (collaboration services, remix platforms, beat marketplaces).

        I’m curious to know what you think of their success rate so far? It does seem like some musicians are slow to adopt these artist to artist services because they do not offer the ‘star’ factor that so many artists are still looking for today. Or these platforms cannot be financially rewarding because they do not provide innovate ways to manage copyright.

        We want independent musicians to find new ways to interact with their existing fans (as well as acquire new ones) without having to break away from their creative process. I think this could be the last real way to bring value back to recorded music.

        • Paul Resnikoff

          It seems like you’re constructing a model for artists to buy from artists. Ask yourself, is that a lucrative group of buyers and sellers? Ultimately you will be making money off of transaction fees, most likely.

          • ecosystem for content creators

            Yes this is true, but our primary revenue model will actually come from monthly subscriptions that artists will pay to upload more content unto the site (as well as other benefits).
            On Soundcloud artists are paying a monthly fee to upload content to the site because there is promotional value, where as with us they would be uploading content to the site because there is creative and monetary value. A user who maximizes their 2 hours of free space on our site, could begin paying $3 a month, while their stem tracks are being downloaded at a price of $0.50 per track. It would only take 6 downloads for them to breakeven from what they spent during that month.
            So ultimately the real source of revenue is in the subscriptions artists pay for more upload space, as well as a host of other benefits, such as being able to place your content in unique positions that ensure a higher rate of downloads, and more money to the subscriber.

          • ecosystem for content creators

            Any thoughts on this business model?

          • Sarah

            Just to make sure I understand what you’re proposing:
            You expect your users to pay in two ways:

            1. Subscriptions for uploading content – $3/month starting price
            2. Payments for downloading stem tracks – $0.50 per track

            So Joe pays $3 to upload stuff, then he downloads 4 stem tracks from others for a total of $2.
            The $3 goes to you, and the $2 – less your cut – goes to the owners of the tracks he downloads?

            If that’s not right, please clarify.

          • ecosystem for content creators

            Yes that is correct. But they won’t have to pay $3 a month until they run out of their 2 hours of free upload space. And for the download fee; we would only be taking a 20% cut while the artist who owns the track receives 80%.

            A big benefit of our site is that a user can potentially earn back the money they’ve spent for the month by contributing their tracks to different projects to increase the chances of their content being downloaded/ mixed down for a $0.50 a fee.

          • Sarah

            There are some nice ideas behind what you describe, but the financial model is concerning. You’re collecting money from a pool of creators, taking a cut for yourself, and then redistributing a lesser amount of money back to that exact same pool of creators.

            Net, you’re losing money for that creator pool.

            Maybe a higher limit on the free uploads, with most of your income coming from downloads, would be better. After all, the costs of storing the data are incredibly low even when you’re just starting out and don’t have the advantages that come with volume and scaling.

          • ecosystem for content creators

            Thanks for your feedback Sarah,

            The way we see it, the creators are making a small monthly investment in order to increase their chances of monetizing on the site (by having more content available to be downloaded or mixed down by other creators). In the end of the day, some will make more that they spend a month, some will breakeven, and some will make less (some may even make money without having to spend any money on extra upload space).
            It all dependents on the quality of tracks that they contribute to various projects, as well as the frequency in which they contribute them.

            We want creators to benefit more from the download revenue they receive because that is money that another creator is paying them in order to download or mixdown their work, so we feel that the recipient is entitled to a higher share of that money.

  4. Anonymous

    In other news: Spotify’s average music quality improved by a major margin.

  5. HansH

    Looks like a giant jump to a conclusion to me. There could be lots of other reasons why this album is not on Spotify. Database errors and stuff. Lets wait and see.

  6. There is something...

    Service exclusivity is the worst thing that could happen to streaming… Nobody needs to have Tidal exclusive, Spotify exclusive, Beats exclusive… Because nobody’s gonna pay for 3 different streaming services. So people who are now paying customers will start to just say “screw it” and go back to illegal DL. Very sad…

  7. Renato schmidt

    This looks like blackmail and NO respect for musiclovers and buyers. Forced shopping is forbidden and leaves no competition but only, 1 place to buy! This Sucks

  8. David

    Still on Spotify in the UK. I presume that artists/labels need to give Spotify some notice of withdrawal, or wait for a predetermined renewal point.

    Apart from Beats, it would be useful to know if the album is still on other paid-only services, or on the paid tiers of freemium ones. Could this be another case like Taylor Swift, where the objection is just to the ‘free’ tier, which pays next to nothing?

  9. Wooly

    Oh no, where will I get my Jay-Z music fix now? Pathetic.

  10. Me2

    I think we’ll be seeing more of this trend toward exclusive releases. It seems only logical in a competitive marketplace. I just don’t get the logic that because a song is on one service, that it should be on all of them?!?!

  11. Ageeeee

    Ironic that the most wealthy artists want to charge $20 for a subpar service. F that.

    • Name2

      Ain’t no law says an artist can’t be an asshole.

  12. ja

    streaming is already obsolete. funny thing is there’s no replacement. i give independents about 5 years until they all go belly up.

    • superduper

      It’s funny because I think even downloads make streaming obsolete. I like physical media better than digital but I still think that downloading a song is far better than streaming. Also, it’s true; there is no replacement that I can think of.

  13. Edward Jennings

    Jay-Z does not have a contract with a record label. He owns his master recordings. He is the majority owner of TIDAL HiFi. I applaud his decision to remove his content from Spotify. He is practicing what he is preaching. More power to him. The music value proposition is changing and I love it.

    The freemium model is shifting to the premium model. Apple iTunes Streaming will be the next nail in the coffin for freemium. Its about time. Music fans pay for their music.