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  • 06.30.17

Let’s hope Jay Z’s “4:44” is the last gasp of streaming exclusives 

Jay Z‘s 13th studio album, 4:44, is here and it’s generating all the excitement, online chatter, and lyrical analyses you’d expect from such an occasion. And while the album is technically a Tidal exclusive, things are a little different this time: 4:44 was also played on 160 radio stations via a partnership with iHeartMedia. The album may also be coming to Apple Music and other streaming services as early as next week, according to Variety.

The controversial (and strategically questionable) tactic of releasing albums exclusively on one streaming platform has died down in the last year or so, thanks to issues with piracy and frustrations on the record label side. And while Jay Z is giving it one more go, the strategy is beginning to look much more relaxed. That’s good, because streaming exclusivity isn’t terribly effective—and it’s annoying for fans. Hopefully this is its last gasp.

JPT