The Tidal music streaming service owned by Jay-Z with a number of big artists as “shareholders” may be headed for a big fall.
According to Bloomberg in an article titled That’s Business, Man: Why Jay-Z’s Tidal is a Complete Disaster, Tidal still does not have an agreement with Sony which was required after Jay-Z purchased Aspiro, the company that owned the Tidal service, then known as WIMP, in Belgium. While he does have a streaming agreement with Universal and, according to industry sources, a new one with Warner, Sony is not happy with the deals being brokered so far.
What this means is that Sony could pull their entire catalog from the Tidal service which would be a major embarrassment for Jay-Z as his wife, Beyonce, would see her music removed from her husband’s service. It would also mean the removal of the catalogs of Usher, Alicia Keys, Daft Punk, Jack White, Calvin Harris and J.Cole, all among the fifteen “partners” in the service.
Bottom line, seven of the fifteen partners in Tidal would have their music removed.
Tidal reportedly has less than a million subscribers and industry sources speculate that many of those are just in the free try-out stage and won’t convert to paying customers. Earlier today, Business Insider reported that the company is actively seeking another streaming partner, such as Rdio or Deezer, to bring more subscribers into the fold.
To add insult to injury, many artists not included in the original deal have been critical of the service, especially in how it is treating independent artists. The latest to take a shot at the service was 50 Cent on Los Angeles station REAL 92.3. “They probably could’ve did something more exciting if they reached out, because the people you saw there don’t even own the rights to their music So they can’t say it’s gonna come out of Tidal. It has to go everywhere.”
He added “Why would you actually buy Tidal to get something that would be everywhere else?”