Jay-Z's album release boosts downloads of Tidal

NEW YORK • Jay-Z's upstart Tidal streaming service has enjoyed a surge of interest after the rap mogul released his latest album exclusively on the platform.

Tidal, which he acquired in 2015, trails far behind streaming leader Spotify and also Apple Music. But it has seen a jump in downloads coinciding with the release of his 4:44 album last Friday.

Tidal was the most downloaded app for iPhones in the United States last Friday and Saturday, jumping 163 places from last Thursday, according to tracking service App Annie.

It stood at No. 6 on Monday.

4:44, the first album in four years by the rapper who has devoted much energy to his business empire, came out to favourable reviews and a major buzz over his unusually introspective lyricism.

On the album, he apologises to his wife, pop superstar Beyonce, for infidelity and reveals that his mother is a lesbian.

He chose to release 4:44 exclusively on Tidal, with the album promoted by telecommunications provider Sprint, which recently bought a one-third stake in the platform.

He has not revealed whether the album will remain a Tidal exclusive.

Other stars, including Beyonce, who released their albums through Tidal eventually made them available for download on Apple's iTunes or rival streaming platforms.

Tidal, a Norwegian company, said last year that it had three million subscribers, though a media report questioned the figure.

It is a fraction of the 50 million paying subscribers of Sweden- based Spotify, which said last month that an additional 90 million people used its free tier.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

HIP-HOP'S NEW DIRECTIONS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 05, 2017, with the headline 'Jay-Z's album release boosts downloads of Tidal'. Print Edition | Subscribe