Beyoncé reduced a good chunk of the internet to a shell of its former self yesterday, with the much-anticipated reveal of her new project, ‘Lemonade’ – a “visual album” with monster collabs ranging from Jack White and James Blake to Kendrick Lamar and The Weeknd.
But many fans’ unbridled excitement was squashed faster than a lemonade stand’s stock when it was realised the LP was available exclusively on your friendly neighbourhood torrent clientsubscription-based streaming service, Tidal, which Bey and Jay Z bought just over a year ago for a cool $56 milli.
As consumers, exclusive streams really get our goat: we want to listen to our fave artists when we want to listen to them, not be strong-armed into signing up for XYZ subscription service because it’s literally the only way to enjoy certain toones (save certain illegal behaviour).
Good news, though: sources say that the entire album is expected to drop on iTunes at the stroke of midnight on Sunday night, US time, or a little over 3 hours away our time – meaning Tidal only enjoyed about a 24-hour window of exclusivity.
The New York Times reports a pair of undisclosed people close the album confirmed its imminent release to Apple’s music store, but wouldn’t give any further details.
You might be thinking it’s weird that Tidal v. brief run as the sole owner of Lemonade, given Bey owns the damn thing, but it actually makes sense; despite her undisputed status as Music Kween, Tidal only has 3 million paid subscribers – keeping it to that service alone would mean alienating the vast majority of her fan base.
By contrast, Apple Music is the US’ largest music vendor with 11 million subscribers, so you know she gonna get them downloads / $$$$$.
Tidal held exclusive rights for both Rihanna‘s ‘Anti’ and Yeezy‘s ‘The Life of Pablo’, both of which are now available on other streaming services – another reason this rumour might just be fact.
Keep your eyes trained on that iTunes library, fam.