Just like with anything Beyoncé-related, the internet was rocked last night after the artist dropped Lemonade, a 12-track visual album that called on not just her black roots, but the distinct and powerful experience of black womanhood. Physicality and emotion mixed to generate a hurricane of tracks whose themes of infidelity, heartbreak and resentment rested like the bittersweet taste of lemonade on our tongues.
Beyoncé’s use of Southern gothic visuals, straddling ethereal and driving beats, left the internet scrambling to get their hands on it. And when the people ask, Beyoncé makes sure they receive. Lemonade was made immediately available worldwide for streaming and purchasing through Tidal for $17.99.
What appeared to be a concerted effort to keep access to yet another highly anticipated album restricted to Tidal became just that—an appearance—this morning when Lemonade popped up on iTunes and Amazon. Both the album and singles can be bought outright, but fans and listeners don’t have the ability to digitally stream the album on Apple Music or Spotify.
Streaming rights for the album will remain solely with Tidal, at least for now, but that’s an interesting choice nonetheless, when you consider the streamer’s recent history with several top-tier artists. Those include Kanye West, who backtracked on making The Life of Pablo a Tidal-only purchase exclusive, as well as Rihanna’s Tidal leak debacle for her latest, Anti.
Keeping Beyoncé’s new album a streaming exclusive but not a purchase exclusive helps make Lemonade as accessible as possible, while still throwing a hype bone to a struggling Tidal, which leaped to the top of the app charts following Lemonade’s release. The site saw its ranking jump from the 202nd most popular free iOS app in the U.S. to 24th, according to App Annie. Since Lemonade’s late-night release, Tidal has become the third most-downloaded free app in the US.
Check out our gallery of Lemonade’s most GIF-worthy visuals here.