The first shots may have been fired in Tidal's quest to dominate the streaming world Jay Z's Reasonable Doubt has disappeared from competitor Spotify. However, those with a Tidal subscription see that they can still stream the debut album from the rapper and part owner in the service, suggesting that this is a symbolic shot from Hov to demonstrate how much power he (and the rest of Tidal's part owners) holds in this game (from WatchLoud).
The crux of Jay's press conference alongside a group of the biggest names in music last week was that streaming services need to do more for musicians and those who help create the music, and that Tidal was the solution.
"There is no free tier and we'll pay the highest royalty percentage," he said when speaking to students at NYU last week. "That's how we'll change the industry."
Granted, Tidal still comes in behind Beats Music in terms of how much it pays per-stream, however both platforms will use similar strategies when Apple gets done refurbishing the platform: No free version will be available, unlike with Spotify and other popular options, and multiple tiers of quality will be available.
It should be noted that Jay's move to pull his debut album from Spotify should be see has strictly symbolic at this point. His classic releases The Blueprint and The Black Album, as well as more recent releases, remain available for streaming. That's because—although an indie artist might not see much of a return from Spotify—a major recording artist such as Hov gets millions of streams every month, which brings in a hefty paycheck still. He's not audacious enough to throw away that additional paycheck, even if his sentiments are with the aforementioned indie artist.
Stay tunes however to see if more members of Tidal ownership start making their music unavailable on the service. Jason Aldean, of course, is a partial owner in Tidal who pulled his catalogue from Spotify during 2014.