Jay-Z's '4:44' tops Billboard 200 chart following wider release

From Engadget - July 17, 2017

The chart-topping success underscores the limited effectiveness of online music exclusives, even when the artist owns the service (as is the case with Jay-Z and Tidal).While they might drive sign-ups in the short term, an artist ultimately needs to make their work available on at least some popular services if they want a chance at a number one hit.Do not be surprised if you see fewer long-term exclusives going forward, at least on smaller services.

The performance might also raise alarm bells at Spotify.While it's still the largest streaming service by a comfortable margin (Apple Music had 'just' 27 million paying customers as of June), it's not likely to be happy that one of the biggest albums of the year led the Billboard 200 without its help.This is not such an issue outside of the US (where Spotify has more sway and Billboard has none), but it indicates that Spotify is not as vital to making a modern hit as its size would suggest.


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