Unlike many artists, Jay Z is fortunate enough to be able to make the choice to only distribute his music for streaming through Tidal. It’s his right and responsibility, as an artist, to set the conditions for how his music will be distributed.
But as a businessperson, he must know that this won’t dramatically improve Tidal’s market share. Very few people will pay ten dollars every month just to have on-demand streaming access to Jay Z’s back catalogue, especially since he hasn’t released a new record in nearly four years. Perhaps he’s working on one and it will be a Tidal exclusive; Kanye West’s “The Life of Pablo” seemed to breathe some life into Tidal last year, albeit helped by those acquiring the album through other means.
Update: As of April 10, the ruler’s back. Maybe he just wanted to take the weekend off.