In case you haven't heard, Jay-Z is celebrating his 50th birthday on Dec. 4, 2019. Wild, right? And while most people might buy themselves a pair of new shoes or a cake to celebrate, the "99 Problems" rapper decided to release his entire hip-hop discography to Spotify. It's basically a birthday gift for everyone.
But upon releasing all of his music to Spotify, fans can't help but speculate his motives: Jay has his own paid music streaming service called Tidal, and that's why none of his music was available on Spotify until this day. So, what's going on? Is Tidal shutting down? Distractify reached out to Tidal for more information, but the streaming service did not respond in time of publication. So, this is what we know.
It was rumored Tidal was falsifying streaming numbers.
Back in May 2018, according to Gizmodo, a Norwegian paper called Dagens Naeringsliv reported that Tidal allegedly lied about streaming numbers for two of its albums, including: Kanye West’s 2016 album, "The Life of Pablo," as well as Beyoncé’s 2016 creation, "Lemonade."
The newspaper had apparently gathered research from Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s Center for Cyber and Information Security. They claimed that almost 90 percent of Tidal users could be seeing false streaming statistics for both artists, and that the company may have logged over 300 million fraudulent streams. Weird.
It still hasn't seen its "big moment" four years after Jay-Z bought it.
Back in 2018, The Verge speculated why Tidal wasn't seeing big subscriber numbers, which currently amounts to three million. For reference, Spotify boasts 248 million, and Apple Music has 60 million. The company was acquired by Jay back in 2015, so it comes as a major surprise that it still hasn't become tremendously popular.
The site also notes that its subscriber count has officially "stalled," meaning its popularity hasn't grown in quite a while. This could be the reason why Jay-Z also decided to unleash his music to Spotify, because it hasn't gotten a significant amount of streams on his own streaming service. This could be due to its slew of failed marketing strategies, a poor interface, or its high prices.
Is Tidal shutting down? At one point, it was rumored to be running out of money.
In December 2017, it was rumored that Tidal only had six months of working capital left, according to Cult of Mac, but Tidal denied all claims, insisting they were completely false. Shortly after, Sprint bought 33 percent of the company, which would supposedly bring them tremendous success in 2018.
The music streaming service's net worth is not known at this moment in time, but fingers crossed for the 50-year-old rapper that his $56 million investment is doing fine.
Maybe Tidal is — in fact — about to fold for good, or maybe Jay released his music to Spotify simply to please the masses on his big day. Hoping for the latter, though, because Jay deserves only the best on his 50th. And regardless of how old he is, by the way, we all know that Jay is forever young.