TIDAL experienced problems from day one, and it appears Jay Z pulled his head out of the sand.
At the streaming service’s launch back in March, most peoples’ perception of TIDAL was pretentious, overzealous and a reach to expect people to pay more money than industry standards set by Spotify, Rhapsody (and now Apple Music) for less selection. Sure, they offered “lossless” quality, but that wasn’t enough to dazzle subscribers. They’ve offered exclusive releases from Nicki Minaj, Beyonce and Prince, held private concerts for paying customers – some even received a call from the jigga man himself, but no marketing ploy is worth losing millions of dollars, especially to a business savvy entrepreneur and rap-mogul like Jay Z.
Sure, he’s seen public support recently from Madonna, who says they’re working out the kinks. “It’s important that people understand we didn’t create Tidal, we didn’t put this together, we didn’t all join forces because we’re broke and we want more money,” she continues. “The idea is we want to support other artists and we want people to understand this is our heart, this is our work, and we want people to recognize that and we want other artists to have a chance.”
Nicki Minaj repped it as of late, too, who Tweeted: “I’m so glad u guys get to see how this stuff works. Taylor took her music off spotify and was applauded. We launched Tidal & were dragged.”
But it’s going to take a lot more than kind words. A couple million would be a start! According to HDD, Jay wants out before he loses any more money.
Tidal has gone eerily quiet of late, apart from statements of support from Nicki Minaj and Madonna, and the word is that Jay Z is looking to get out. This ambitious undertaking has cost him millions of his own money because he never got the expected funding, he still hasn’t paid the licensing fees to the rights holders and no one is likely to throw him a life preserver and bail him out, so he has little choice at this point except to stop the bleeding. What will his exit strategy look like? Interesting to note that it’s not Apple, Sony, UMG or WMG that could be putting the final nail in the Tidal coffin, but Cash Money’s Slim and Baby Williams, with their copyright-infringement suit against the service for its recent exclusive with alienated label artist Lil Wayne.
That lawsuit mentioned above refers to Cash Money’s $51 million lawsuit against TIDAL for releasing Lil Wayne’s Free Weezy Album contrary to Cash Money’s wishes.
Jay Z might have to put his tail between his legs and bow out now before it’s too late. Then again, if he needs a helping hand – there’s always Rihanna and her downpour of dollar bills.