Well, this is awkward.
Bloomberg published a lengthy piece on Jay Z’s Tidal service called “Why Jay Z’s Tidal Is a Complete Disaster.”
Before you write the article off as just another mainstream
publication rooting for Jay Z to fail, this piece backs itself up
with an in-depth analysis of not only Jay’s career, but also the state
of the music industry as it pertains to streaming services in general.
Interestingly enough, the article reveals that major record companies
are asking Jay for large advances in order for Tidal to feature their
artists’ catalogues — one of those companies being Sony.
Without payment, it’s possible that Tidal might lose albums from some
of these record companies’ artists — and some of them, like Beyoncé,
are Tidal co-owners.
investment to pay some bills. When he acquired Aspiro, the change of
ownership meant he had to renegotiate its streaming contracts with the
three major record companies: Universal, Warner, and Sony Music
Entertainment. Universal distributes the records of some of Roc Nation’s
artists, so Jay Z was able to quickly reach an agreement with that
company. But music industry people who are familiar with the
negotiations and forbidden from discussing them publicly say that Sony
and Warner are asking Tidal for large advances in return for the right
to feature their artists’ catalogs. (None of the record companies would
comment on Tidal.) A source close to Tidal said that the company’s
financial condition is fine and that it reached a streaming rights deal
in late May with Warner.
with the cash for Sony, he faces the possibility that Tidal might lose
albums from some of its co-owners, most painfully Beyoncé, a Sony
artist. “I’m pretty sure most of the artists that were at the press
conference don’t control their own streaming rights,” says Peter Mensch,
co-founder of Q Prime, the talent agency that manages the Red Hot Chili
Peppers and Metallica.
Can you imagine a Tidal without Beyoncé? Let’s hope Jay’s able to get these deals in place.