Why Isn't "Formation" On iTunes Yet?

The world hasn't stopped talking about Beyoncé's new song, "Formation," since it dropped unexpectedly on Sat., Feb. 6 — just one day before the star's Super Bowl 50 halftime show appearance. Though the track, its accompanying music video, and Beyoncé's stunning Super Bowl performance have all sparked important, complex conversations about race and culture in the United States (and stirred up some "controversy," as well), lots of fans have one simple question on their minds: Why isn't "Formation" on iTunes? Many people assumed it would be available before Bey took the halftime show stage, and yet, here we are 10 days later, and it's still nowhere to be found! When will "Formation" be on iTunes?

Unfortunately, we don't have a clear answer yet. Currently, "Formation" is only available on Tidal, the subscription-based music streaming service Beyoncé co-owns along with her husband, Jay Z, and several other major artists (Kanye West, Rihanna, Alicia Keys, Madonna, etc.). It's possible that "Formation" is a "Tidal exclusive" for a set period of time, and will be released to other digital retailers (like iTunes) sometime in the near future. For example, West's new album, The Life of Pablo , is a Tidal exclusive for its first week.

However, it's also possible that "Formation" will never hit the iTunes store. According to music industry website Hits Daily Double (HDD), "Formation" may not be an official single from Beyoncé's upcoming sixth studio album. Instead, HDD reports that the track is "thought to be primarily intended as a perpetuation of her brand and a setup for her just-announced tour." If that's truly the case, Tidal could be fans' only option for acquiring the song.

But, there's a silver lining here: "Formation" is still available as a free download on Tidal (no subscription required) — though it's unknown how much longer the offer will last. In other words: Act fast, Beyhive! I'll be sure to keep an eye out for any further developments.

Image: Beyoncé/YouTube