Piracy Explodes on Beyonce & Jay-Z's Premium-Only 'Everything Is Love'

Beyonce & Jay-Z’s just-released album is a smash hit — on piracy and torrent channels worldwide.  The development follows a restrictive weekend exclusive on Tidal and premium-only restrictions elsewhere.

What happens when two the biggest artists in the world release an album, then restrict it to paying customers only?  The answer to that question may be painfully obvious.

Shortly after a Tidal weekend exclusive, Beyonce and Jay-Z decided to quickly spread their latest album, Everything Is Love, to other music platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Deezer.  We’re not sure what prompted the abrupt change--heart, or if a limited, weekend exclusive on Tidal was the plan all along.

Either way, the duo have insisted that their album remain restricted to paying customers only.  That means no YouTube, and no free Spotify.

Now, The Carters’ just-released Everything Is Love is getting downloaded like mad on torrenting channels.  The album quickly shot to the top the torrent charts over the weekend, possibly because fans were confronted with the restrictive exclusive.

A quick check on thepiratebay.org shows that The Carters’ release is crushing the second-ranked torrent, Kanye West’s ye.

West’s album is widely available on platforms like Spotify, including free channels, and is easily one the biggest albums the year.  Also worth noting: the other top-ranked albums are mostly rap albums, including DAMN from Kendrick Lamar and Nas’ latest release.

Piracy Explodes on Beyonce & Jay-Z's Premium-Only 'Everything Is Love'

Another heavily-used torrent tracker, limetorrents.cc, shows a similar surge.  In fact, the torrented FLAC was pulled from Tidal itself.

After the weekend, Everything Is Love became the second most-torrented music release for the month, despite being uploaded over the weekend.  The source file is actually a higher-resolution version, which Tidal fers to customers that pay more.

Which means that, yes, a $20-a-month higher-end streaming subscriber helped feed the piracy beast.

Piracy Explodes on Beyonce & Jay-Z's Premium-Only 'Everything Is Love'

Meanwhile, the power-couple Beyonce and Jay-Z appear to be restricting their album from YouTube almost completely.

That’s taking a little the sizzle out YouTube Music’s global expansion, though it’s probably not helping the Carters control the piracy wildfire.

Still, the album’s lead track, ‘Apeshit,’ was heavily promoted on YouTube as a teaser.  And yeah: it’s pretty damn good!



About the Author