In March of 2015, Jay Z acquired Tidal’s Oslo-based parent company Aspiro, for $56 million. Tidal quickly inked many A-list artists to deals for it’s music streaming service.
Usher, Beyonce, Kanye West, Chris Martin, deadmau5, Jason Aldean, J. Cole, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Alicia Keys, Rihanna andDaft Punk all release new music exclusively through Tidal.
Right out of the gate the company joined a crowded field that includedSpotify, Google Play, Amazon Prime and Pandora. The competition for customers became even more fierce when Apple Music was launched in June of 2015.
In September of 2016, the Wall Street Journal reported that Aspiro lost over $28 million in 2015 alone.
Rumors have circulated that Jay wants to sell the company. Apple andSamsung have been mentioned as possible suitors, but nothing has come to fruition.
Apple executive, Jimmy Iovine, told Buzzfeed that the rumors regarding his company were false.
“We’re really running our own race,” he said. “We’re not looking to acquire any streaming services.”
The report alleges that Jay’s September 2015 tweet that his company had reach one million subscribers was greatly exaggerated.
Internal reports indicate Tidal had 830,000 subscribers at the time. Dagens Næringsliv claims that even that number was inflated, pointing out that payments made to record labels put Tidal’s subscribers closer to 350,000.
In a May 29, 2016 press release Tidal claimed it had “amassed three million members across 46 countries worldwide.” Dagens Næringsliv disputes those numbers, citing internal reports that showed only 1.2 million subscribers. Payments to record labels indicated that it had850,000 subscribers at the time.