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The same day that the Jay-Z album "4:44" exits Tidal exclusivity, heavy Tidal promoter Kanye West has reportedly cut all ties to the streaming service.
After initial indications suggesting that 4:44 would remain a Tidal exclusive, the Platinum-certified album has popped up on Amazon Music, and Apple Music — but not on Spotify as of yet. Additionally, while certified Platinum by the RIAA, the means that it obtained that certification doesn't appear to reflect actual listenership to the album.
Platinum records are those albums associated with one million "album units," according to the RIAA. One album purchase, 10 tracks purchased off an album, or 1500 streams of a track on services like Tidal or Apple Music equal one album unit.
However, the status was gained by Sprint's purchase of one million copies of the album according to Billboard, to give away to subscribers. The status was awarded on Sprint's purchase, and not by listener streams.
Also on Friday, high profile artist Kanye West has split with Tidal. Also according to Billboard, a source close to West confirmed that Tidal's exclusivity rights to future music has been terminated, allegedly over Tidal's failure to pay. West claims that Tidal is in breach of contract, and owes him $3 million.
Tidal has also allegedly threatened to sue West over failure to deliver videos.
When Jay-Z relaunched Tidal in 2016, he divvied up minor ownership rights to big-name artists like West, Beyonc, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Chris Martin, Rihanna, Usher, Jack White and others. A number of minority owners have since released albums on the service as windowed exclusives, including West, who begged fans to subscribe after the debut of his last album, "Life of Pablo."
In January, mobile carrier Sprint purchased 33 percent of Tidal, with terms of the deal not known. Around the time of Sprint's investment in Tidal, a report noted that Apple Music provides 13.35 percent of all streaming revenue, with 7.18 percent of the streaming quantity. Tidal held 0.33 percent of streaming revenue at the time, and 0.1 percent of the total streams.