Although the world is still waiting to see Beyoncé and JAY-Z's twins, you don't have to wait any longer to hear Carter's 4:44. The rap icon released his latest album on June 30, and, sure, you can listen to it exclusively on Tidal, but when will JAY-Z's 4:44 be on Spotify? Alas, the question is less of a "when" and more of an "if," since his history with the streaming site should not make fans feel optimistic. But before you go paying for a Tidal subscription to hear 4:44, it's worth looking into what the chances of it being released on another platform are.
If any artist is going to release an album exclusively on Tidal, it makes sense for it to be JAY-Z, since he bought the streaming service for $56 million in 2015. There was definitely skepticism surrounding this move, but this year, Tidal sold a 33 percent share to Sprint for $200 million, so the debate over his business decision can pretty much go away at this point. And even though Tidal doesn't have the number of subscribers that Apple Music or Spotify has, as Vanity Fair reported, that doesn't mean that it's not an important streaming service — especially when you consider that Tidal's greatest lure is the fact that artists release exclusive content on the platform, like JAY-Z just did.
Still, JAY-Z didn't become one of the most famous rappers of all-time by not making his music accessible, and Spotify is the preferred streaming site by many. (On June 15, Spotify announced it has reached 140 million users.) But the rapper doesn't seem to be a fan of Spotify and other streaming services since in April 2017, The Verge reported that all of JAY-Z's albums were removed from Spotify and Apple Music, with Spotify saying it was done at his request. That left only a handful of his collaborations available to listen to on Spotify. That does not bode well for people hoping to see 4:44 on the service.
Not all hope is completely lost yet, though. Variety reported that a source told the publication that 4:44 will only be a Tidal exclusive for one week. After that, the 36-minute-long album will allegedly be on Apple Music and possibly iTunes as well. Another source said 4:44 will "be available on all major services," which would presumably include Spotify. Representatives for Tidal, Apple Music, and Spotify did not comment on Variety's report, so it remains a rumor for now — but a hopeful one at least.
Considering Beyoncé's Lemonade has never graced Spotify, it does feel like a long shot that 4:44 ever will, even with Variety's intel. So if you are completely against listening to JAY-Z's 13th album on anything other than Spotify, you just may miss out.
If you're not comfortable with that, then Tidal may be the way to go. But you can always wait a week to see if Variety's sources end up being true. Not to mention, for the first day of its release, 4:44 is also available through iHeartRadio. That means you can listen to the album for free without getting Tidal for one day. At least that way you won't completely miss out on the conversation about JAY-Z's buzzed-about latest musical offering.