It appears that there's a major snafu in the rollout of 4:44 that's left several JAY-Z fans less than impressed. On Friday, reports began rolling in via Twitter that new TIDAL users couldn't stream 4:44, leaving many first-time users in the cold when it came to hearing Jay's new music. Bustle reached out to TIDAL for comment, but did not receive an immediate response. Additionally, it would appear JAY-Z has not publicly addressed the issue. So, what happened here exactly?
If you tried to sign up for a free TIDAL trial on Friday solely to stream 4:44 (and that's not a knock on you; it makes complete sense), then you may have encountered a major roadblock. According to Variety, new TIDAL users who signed on for a free trial to stream 4:44 were met with an error message. When Bustle tried to sign up for a new account, we received the following response:
"JAY-Z 4:44 is only accessible to Sprint/TIDAL customers and all pre-existing TIDAL accounts during the exclusive period.
Switch to Sprint and get 6 complimentary months of TIDAL + access to JAY-Z 4:44 and all future TIDAL X Sprint exclusive content."
The situation clearly left fans who were hoping to listen to the album ASAP miffed, to put it mildly. Musician Mark Ronson was among the new TIDAL users who posted the error message to Twitter. He accompanied the screenshot with the following comment of frustration: "I signed up for Tidal solely to listen to the Jay-Z album, which turns out is the only thing I can't listen to on Tidal."
Variety further reported that apparently, new users were directed to a Sprint page, where they were encouraged to sign up for a plan. What's potentially adding to the ire of new TIDAL subscribers is that the service reportedly sent out an email to past subscribers encouraging them to sign up again for a free trial (with the implication they could stream 4:44) — without mentioning the need to have a Sprint account or the exclusive window.
There's no confirmation about when the exclusivity window will end, although Billboard is reporting 4:44 will be available on Apple Music and other streaming services next week. Regardless, one thing's for certain: This bait-and-switch has left a lot of eager JAY-Z fans and potential TIDAL customers thoroughly annoyed.