Jay-Z's Spotify Grudge is Costing Him Millions in '4:44' Earnings

Jay-Z's Spotify Grudge is Costing Him Millions in '4-44' Earnings Source: Twitter

He's a business, man.

Before the Bed Stuy rapper acquired his own streaming service, Jay-Z and Spotify had a pretty simple relationship, as any artist and digital distro service might. Hov would offer his music to the cloud giant (still the world's largest streaming platform) and Spotify would give him fractions of a penny for each stream tallied.

Once TIDAL was up and running, Jay-Z grabbed his catalog and ran, stamping each album as TIDAL-exclusive and reducing his Spotify presence to a couple dozen feature verses. All of that is to say that no one should be surprised about 4:44's absence from Spotify even this far into its release. According to a report from Billboard, that omission is costing the rapper up to a million dollars in weekly earnings, though others have reported the loss to be an only slightly less gasp-worthy $250,000-$500,000.

The numbers reportedly stem from analyzing Drake's Views release following a week of Apple exclusivity, though that would also assume that 4:44 stands to be streamed an earth-shattering 4.8 billion times, at Spotify's .0044 cent per stream rate (Apple's nearly twice that, but still only .008.) Realistically, the type of money artists of that tier stand to earn via streaming sales is pretty laughable, especially when you're a multi-enterprise business, man. But with Spotify holding the vast majority of streamers (a whopping 140 million active users to Apple's 27 million and TIDAL's equally laughable 4 million) it's pretty clear that Sprint's $200 million stake in TIDAL came packaged with one millions copies of a new Jay-Z album; a good and easy sell.

At least they had the sense to announce the album had "gone platinum" after its release this time.