The music streaming service Tidal never really got off the ground — some have even labeled it useless — and now Jay-Z, its principal investor, is looking to bail. Via music biz gossip titan Hits Daily Double:
Tidal has gone eerily quiet of late, apart from statements of support from Nicki Minaj andMadonna, 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?
Though Tidal never really got off the ground in a meaningful way, it’s not all on Jay-Z, who has taken most of the flack. By buying the Swedish streaming company that furnished Tidal’s tech for $56 million, he was taking a (rather expensive) flier. Given other valuations that have been floating around, it seemed like a smart play at the time; Tidal just brought nothing new or special to the table, promising better economics for artists, but a plan never materialized.
Jay-Z knows it’s a lost cause — the media has turned Tidal into a running punchline, and the company hasn’t countered with a meaningful exclusive (as some pundits expected). If nothing else, let’s all remember Tidal for its biggest gift to our lives — the video for “Feelin’ Myself.”