With the release of his latest album, fans are wondering when JAY-Z's 4:44 will be on iTunes. As of its June 30 release, the rapper's 13th studio album was a TIDAL exclusive, which is hardly a surprise, given JAY-Z's stake in the streaming platform. But don't despair, sources tell Variety that fans might see 4:44 on other streaming platforms in as little as a week. It might seem like a lifetime for fans who don't have TIDAL, but there's the possibility that the album will hit iTunes by July 7. Still, it's important to bear in mind that this is all speculation. Bustle reached out to JAY-Z's rep for comment, but did not receive an immediate response.
That said, the speculation becomes much more grounded with a look at Lemonade, which was released last year. Just like her husband's 4:44, Beyoncé's album was released as an HBO and TIDAL eexclusive before making its way to other streaming platforms shortly after. In her case, the waiting period was two days — Lemonade premiered on Tidal on April 23, 2016. At that point, SPIN had a source reporting that the album would never be available anywhere else. But just days later, on April 25, Lemonade made its iTunes debut, becoming available for purchase for a whole new pool of users.
Beyoncé and JAY-Z are independent artists, of course, and don't necessarily follow the same paths to success within the industry. But they're both incredibly business-minded, so it would make sense if there was some mirroring between their music-release strategies.
The most likely outcome is that 4:44 spends as much time as a TIDAL exclusive as JAY-Z thinks will maximize profits for that streaming platform, and then transfer it to others. At the end of the day, one of the main goals of any artist is to allow more people to listen to his or her music. So keep your eyes peeled, because it's likely that this album will be more readily available any day now.