DO. NOT. COUNT. JAY Z. OUT. EVER.
As can be seen above, Sprint has purchased a third of JAY Z’s TIDAL to the tune of $200 million (bringing the company’s value to $600 million). To add reference JAY Z purchased TIDAL two years ago for $56 million. Talk about a bounce back.
Read more on the new partnership here.
Last week, TMZ reported that former TIDAL employee Lisette Paulson is slapping the company with a lawsuit for sex and pregnancy discrimination. Specifically, Paulson requested a private room to use a breast pump last year, and “trusted JAY Z associate” Desiree Perez told her to use a bathroom instead. She refused, and was subsequently fired.
TIDAL has announced that, for the second time, they’ll be teaming up with New York’s Robin Hood Foundation to throw a massive charity concert. It takes place 15th October at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center and will see the likes of Beyoncé (of course), Nicki Minaj, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Robin Thicke, Blood Orange, Common, T.I., Lil Yachty and more. Currently, there’s no mention of JAY Z, but we’d expect him to be in the building as well.
If you’re in New York for that, general ticket sales go live this Monday (26th September); if you’re with American Express, pre-sales have kicked off today.
Since it’s inception (and — more than likely — because of the botched launch), JAY Z’s TIDAL has been for the most part the butt of jokes in regards to the music streaming industry. With that said, the service trucked on, using its famous investors to provide exclusives and other features not available on any of the other platforms (including concerts and festivals, like Made In America).
Unfortunately, it looks like the strategies still haven’t caught on: even at over a million subscribers, TIDAL has reportedly logged in a loss of 239 million Swedish Krona (about $28 million, or £21.2 million) in 2015. To give further reference, TIDAL lost significantly less in 2014 — 88.9 million Swedish Krona ($10.5 million, or about £79 million).
Now, the good news in this is that they also achieved a 30% increase in revenue in 2015. So there’s that. In addition, it’s not like the goliath Spotify has been turning a profit, either.
We suppose that TIDAL can stay afloat simply by keeping to its niche (ie. the fans of the big names that own the company). Nonetheless, they’re an incredibly long way from reaching its competitors.
This could be big: reports are stating that Apple is currently in talks with JAY Z’s TIDAL over a possible acquisition. No side has confirmed (it’s coming from various “sources”), but that kind of merger could be what Apple needs to get that much closer to Spotify’s massive 100 million users/30 paying subscribers (Apple Music currently has 15 million subscribers).
Read more on the story here.
As with Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo, Beyoncé’s surprise album Lemonade has earned TIDAL a slew of new subscribers — 1.2 million in only a week to be specific. The album has 306 million global streams since it’s exclusive release via JAY Z’s streaming service.
For reference, ‘Ye’s project had some 250 million streams in the first 10 days, doubling TIDAL’s subscriber count from 1 to 2.5 million.
Now, if TIDAL can continue to hold high-profile albums hostage, they might actually give Apple Music and Spotify a run for their money.
As you probably know by now, Kanye West’s new album The Life Of Pablo has made it’s way to non-TIDAL formats like Spotify and Apple Music — which is a surprise, given that ‘Ye promised that Pablo was never going to be available anywhere but TIDAL:
Now, some guy named Justin Baker-Rhett has filed a class action suit against Kanye, JAY Z and TIDAL for making him purchase a TIDAL subscription, thinking that he’d only be able to enjoy Pablo via its streaming platform exclusively. Said Baker-Rhett’s attorney, Jay Edelson:
We fully support the right of artists to express themselves freely and creatively, however creative freedom is not a licence to mislead the public.
We believe that we will be able to prove to a jury that Mr West and Tidal tricked millions of people into subscribing to their services and that they will ultimately be held accountable for what they did.
Who knows if Baker-Rhett will win his case, but one thing’s for certain: keeping The Life Of Pablo exclusive to TIDAL for that period definitely helped swell its subscriber base.
Two big news stories about JAY Z’s streaming service TIDAL:
- Page Six is reporting that TIDAL is in negotiations to stream movies, which would expand their competitive line of sight to services like Netflix and HULU. They’ve even (reportedly) requested a necessary update for their app through Apple.
- It looks like JAY Z is also preparing to sue the former owners of Aspiro (of which TIDAL lives under) for exaggerating their current subscribers back when JAY Z was making the purchase. Reports state that the lawsuit could reach 100 million Norwegian Krone (roughly £8.4 million).
Image source: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images For Roc Nation
Kanye West has definitely affected TIDAL in the positive, thanks to the release of his latest album The Life Of Pablo. Today, the streaming platform revealed just how many times fans have streamed the project: a whopping 250 million times within the first 10 days of its release. In addition, TIDAL’s subscribers have since increased to 3 million — a small number compared to, say, Spotify’s 30 million, but a very impressive increase still. [It should also be noted that Spotify still hasn’t turned a profit, which is pretty amazing at this point.]
Read more over at Billboard.
This, according to Spotify, was done months ago: JAY Z has removed all three Blueprint albums from the aforementioned streaming service, as well as Apple Music, Rhapsody and Google Play Music. Naturally, you can now get your Blueprint fix on TIDAL only.
Said the Spotify spokesperson:
Jay Z’s Blueprint albums have not been available on any streaming service except Tidal for a few months now. We hope he brings them back soon so that his millions of fans on Spotify can enjoy them again.
Currently, other projects like Magna Carta Holy Grail, Watch the Throne and The Black Album are still available on non-TIDAL formats; with that said, we’d imagine that JAY Z will soon change that.
UPDATE: A Samsung rep has denied that the tech giant has any plans to buy TIDAL. Ah well.
Reports are stating that Samsung is in talks with JAY Z to acquire TIDAL. If true, it wouldn’t be the biggest surprise, being that Samsung and JAY Z/Roc Nation have partnered in the past (ie. the rollout for JAY Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail and Rihanna’s ANTI). Says a source from the New York Post:
Samsung is re-engaging; they are working on something really big, and they’re keeping it very quiet in case it leaks.
Samsung isn’t budging on information at this time, so there’s that…we certainly see big things for TIDAL (which sees a current value of $100 million, almost double JAY Z’s purchase cost last year) if Samsung does take the reins — it would be another platform that will see the tech giant in direction competition with frenemy Apple.
Read more on the story here.
After hearing great news in regards to TIDAL’s growth this year, it looks like there are still growing pains to deal with. JAY Z’s streaming service has announced (via Complex) that they have fired two of their top executives:
Tidal has terminated CFO Chris Hart and COO Nils Juell. As Tidal has grown into a global operation serving 46 countries we have moved our accounting and operations team to New York while our technology team and key support staff remain in Oslo.
This is the first big change from TIDAL’s staff that we’ve seen since they’d switched CEO’s (to Jeff Toig) for the third time last December. CIO Vania Schlogel also departed last Summer.