Back in 2016, Kanye West announced that his latest album be available exclusively on Tidal. This morning, its follow up, the simply titled ye, arrived on that service, Spotify and Apple Music all at the same time.
The move is a blow for the artist-owned music streaming service, which has amassed much of its fanbase by launching exclusives from top music acts like West and Tidal investor Jay-Z, who made his own 4:44 an exclusive on the service.
Of course, West’s own relationship with Tidal (among other things) has been rocky, at best. Last July, the embattled rapper reportedly claimed that the streaming service owed him “more than $3 million” over Pablo royalties, including a bonus from bringing “1.5 million new subscribers” to the service.
West may have been among the most prominent artists to complain about Tidal royalty payments, but he certainly wasn’t alone. Earlier this month, a report surfaced claiming that it was behind on paying record labels, as well.
West ultimately terminated exclusivity for Pablo a few months after its release, a year before it became the first album to go platinum from streaming-only. He also reportedly threatened to not make its followup a Tidal exclusive, if things between the artist and the service weren’t ironed out. As of this morning, that certainly appears to be the case.