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971k pirate downloads of Jay-Z album in first 72 hours says Muso


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The exclusivity arrangements around Jay-Z’s new album ‘4.44’ meant that even brand-new Tidal subscribers who missed the cut-off deadline – Mark Ronson among them – couldn’t stream the album unless they were Sprint customers.

Did that send millions of fans to pirate sites to get the album instead? Well, not millions in the plural. Piracy-tracking firm Muso published its estimates yesterday, claiming that in the first 72 hours after release, ‘4.44’ was downloaded just over 972k times from piratical sources, with nearly 56% of those downloads happening in the US.

That’s actually relatively light: Muso also published stats showing that in the same time period, Drake’s last album ‘More Life’ was illegally downloaded more than 1.3m times.

“36% more than Jay-Z suggesting that piracy is not as dependent on exclusive windowing as we may believe,” according to Muso CEO Andy Chatterley.

One unpalatable thought (for Jay-Z anyway) is that his new music simply isn’t the cultural event it was a few years ago. That said, fans may simply be assuming that ‘4.44’ will make its way to other streaming services quickly, and are content to bide their time.


Written by: Stuart Dredge