Sony might pull their artists out from under Jay Z's streaming service TIDAL. Meaning no more Beyonce.
It appears TIDAL is a sinking ship with no signs it's on the rise, and new reports suggest Jay Z can't (or won't) pony up the advances Sony and Warner want in return for the right to feature their artists’ catalogs. Beyonce is a Sony artist. You do the math.
Jay Z was counting on funds from Sprint via SoftBank to pay the bills, but after jumping the gun at the TIDAL launching ceremony back in March, it appears he now faces not only a PR nightmare but, an uphill battle to find new investors. Vania Schlogel, a Tidal senior executive, bragged about the company’s relationship with Sprint as though it were a done deal, reports Bloomberg.com. “From Day One, Marcelo”—Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure—“and Jay have been aligned in the vision of creating the most revolutionary music and entertainment platform for the planet,” Schlogel said at that event.
Unfortunately, it wasn't true.
Sprint issued a statement, saying that SoftBank hadn’t made an investment in Tidal yet and that Jay Z’s negotiations were platonic. “We are working together in partnership for the vision of the common cause of reestablishing the value of music,” Sprint said. “It is NOT a financial investment or exclusive partnership.”
Exclusive content on TIDAL is a great way to attract new subscribers, but the overwhelming majority of people feel it's an inconvenience and an outrage to pay to watch content they could essentially get for free on services like Spotify. Rumor has it, Jay Z and Beyonce are releasing an album strictly on TIDAL, which would make for an awkward encounter with Sony. In other words, Jay Z needs some major cash flow or he faces its impending closure.