Tidal music streaming service is still struggling to find its place in the music streaming game. Jay-Z’s baby is taking some serious body blows and its days could be numbered. Tidal has again had to shake up its leadership in the hopes surviving in this hyper competitive market. To make matters worse the company is currently fighting a lawsuit over royalties.
According Norwegian Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv two of Tidal’s top executives, Chief Operating Officer Nils Juell and Chief Financial Officer Chris Hart have been shown the door.
Jay Z spent $56 million in 2015 to acquire Tidal. Since that time it has seen three CEOs and a host of high-level executives jump ship. After only two months Senior Vice President of Label Relations Zena Burns departed. Then former Chief Investment Officer Vania Schlogel also took a walk.
Inside the company things are getting pretty ugly. Tidal’s was once valued at $250 million. Now that number is about $100 million and Tidal is looking ripe for the picking as some companies are looking to purchase it.
Samsung, the Korean tech giant, has been eyeing Tidal for over a year. Tidal and Samsung have been been rumored before to be ready to conclude a deal but nothing has happened. According to the New York Post the company is in negotiations to purchase the company again. Samsung has ongoing relationships with several of Tidal’s artists including Rihanna. Samsung spent $28 million to sponsor Rihanna’s new album and tour.
But Samsung is not the only player in the game. Google and Spotify are also eyeing the struggling music service. Tidal, for all its struggles, does have a nice artist collection and potential buyers see them as nice additions to their streaming offerings.
Current CEO Jeff Toig, who came over from struggling Sound Cloud, has begun laying off staff and consolidating operations in the New York office. Tidal is also facing accusations that it failed to pay out royalties on time resulting in a class action lawsuit. Yesh Music hit Tidal with a $5 million lawsuit claiming the company stiffed them and John Emanuele, a member of The American Dollar.
Tidal responded in a statement denying any knowledge of Yesh’s complaint. “Tidal is up to date on all royalties for the rights to the music stated in Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele’s claim and they are misinformed as to who, if anyone, owes royalty payments to them.”
Tidal has also fumbled the release new music. Critics blasted the company over the botched release of Rihanna’s latest album Anti, and Kanye West’s exclusive launch of his latest release “The Life of Pablo” on Tidal. The criticism has been so harsh that some say this may go down as the worst release effort in the history of recorded music.
Jay-Z may have bitten off more than he can chew with Tidal. Music streaming is a highly competitive business and Tidal needs to get some traction quick. But that’s not to say the game is over. Jay-Z only paid $56 million for a company now worth $100 million. If he sells it for that much he still comes out a winner.