Jay Z is reportedly planning an exit strategy from his troubled music streaming service, Tidal. Recent reports claim that the rapper-turned-music mogul is giving up on the company only months after its launch.
After purchasing the Swedish company that owns Tidal for $56 million dollars last year, Jay Z relaunched the service this March with much fanfare and a slew of celebrity partners, including his wife Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Madonna, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, Chris Martin, deadmau5 and Drake.
The resulting publicity shot Tidal toward the top of the iTunes app store for a brief moment, but it soon lost favor with listeners who were turned off by its pricing policy. Consumers were just not interested in paying for the higher definition audio quality promised by Tidal as opposed to its then-biggest competitors Pandora and Spotify, and the promised exclusive content turned out to be less than compelling.
In June, CEO Peter Tonstad was fired from the company after running it for just three months, and now, two more executives have left the company, and rumors are swirling that Jay Z has given up and is planning his exit strategy.
Jay Z reportedly hasn't yet paid the licensing fees to the copyright holders of much of Tidal's music, and the company was just hit with a huge $50 million lawsuit in July, when Cash Money claimed Tidal's exclusive premiere of Lil Wayne's new album "Free Weezy" was an illegal copyright infringement. There doesn't seem to be much hope for a boost in subscribers at this point, and rather than continue to bleed millions in his own resources, Jay Z is reportedly looking to cut his losses.
The artist/owners participating in the service have been quiet for the most part, sans Nicki Minaj and Madonna, who recently showed her support in an interview, stating that: "It's important that people understand we didn't create Tidal, we didn't put this together, we didn't all join forces because we're broke and we want more money. The idea is we want to support other artists and we want people to understand this is our heart, this is our work, and we want people to recognize that and we want other artists to have a chance."
If the rumors are correct, that chance may be coming to an end, as Tidal may soon be swept out.