Since its inception, Jay Z’s streaming service Tidal has had some difficulties, to say the least. Even from its first star-studded commercial, it seems like people have been waiting for Tidal to flop. But now, almost a year later, we have to ask: Is Tidal doing well? What’s the future of the “revolutionary” service?
From the looks of things, its fate has never been more up-in-the-air. This past year has found a number of potholes for Tidal, the focus of which has been being criticized by artists like Mumford and Sons and Death Cab For Cutie for claiming to represent the average artist when the faces of the company are all extremely successful and rich. The service nearly lost the entire Queen Bey library, accidentally released Rihanna’s ANTI, and recently charged former subscribers without their knowledge. There has been some light at the end of the tunnel, though, with exclusive music from Prince and Kanye West pushing many people to subscribe, but that also drove a larger number of people to pirate Tidal-only albums (possibly including West himself).
In the past week, Jay Z and Tidal were hit with a class-action lawsuit for not paying artists, specifically using unlicensed songs from the band The American Dollar and deliberately miscounting their play counts by tens of millions of plays. The house of Tidal is also being cleaned as of late, yet again, with the COO and CFO getting the ax.
But the endgame for Tidal seems to be acquisition by those who see the promise in the struggling service. Namely, Samsung, or possibly Spotify or Google.
So, while the road has been a little rough for the past year, Tidal is still staying afloat for the time being. Which is good news for the artists involved and the fans that have stayed loyal through all the bumps. Let’s just hope the next year goes a little better.