Jay Z’s 13th solo album 4:44 will be released exclusively on Tidal at 12AM ET, but if you haven’t signed up for the service before then, you won’t have access to the album. A source with knowledge of the situation tells The Verge that as part of the Sprint deal, only customers of the carrier will be able to sign up for Tidal after 12AM ET and access the album.
Until now, it has been unclear as to how Sprint — which provided Tidal with a $75 million budget for exclusives as part of its investment in the service — would benefit from Tidal exclusives, which have been available to anyone who signed up for the service before or after an exclusive release. But by making Jay Z’s latest album truly exclusive to the carrier and current Tidal users, being a Sprint customer will truly be the only way to hear Jay Z’s album immediately after it releases.
If you happen to be a Sprint subscriber and want to sign up to Tidal and listen to Jay Z’s album tomorrow, you’ll be fine, but otherwise you should start your Tidal trial subscription right now.
Update, July 3rd, 4:45PM ET: All Tidal customers now have access to 4:44, the company tells The Verge.