15.12.17

Will Tidal survive?

crowd shot with Tidal imagery

Word from Norwegian news hub Dagens Næringsliv is that the Jay-Z-fronted music streaming service, Tidal, is in trouble – and reportedly had losses of under $45 million in 2016.

The emergence of Deezer and Qobuz’s higher quality music streaming services pitched at the  ‘audophile’ looking for sound a cut above the likes of Spotify was always going to make acquiring business more challenging for Tidal (however much Jay-Z used his star power to offer users some exclusives among its 46-million strong catalogue of songs).

The newly released report says the MQA-quality music service is living on large loans from the owners' holding company and may have as little of six months left to turn its fortunes around – despite Sprint buying a 33% stake in Jay-Z's streaming service in January.

The $200 million deal (which apparently included a cool $75 million for acquiring exclusive content) was supposed to give Tidal "sufficient working capital for the next 12-18 months," according to Jay Z's business partner and Roc Nation Sports president, Juan Perez.

Yet in contrast, a spokesperson from the Oslo-based company was keen to tell engadget that business has grown year-on-year for Tidal, and that it expects to be profitable by mid-2018.

Back in March 2015, the likes of Jack White, Chris Martin, Daft Punk, and Kanye West, Jay Z united to back Tidal to change the course of music history – but since then the service has been plagued by problems with signing on artists, low membership and pricing (asking all users to shell out $19.99 per month) since Jay-Z acquired Aspiro. It has since lost money every quarter since it was founded.

Will the tide change for tidal? We can’t imagine Jay-Z won’t go down without a fight.