A DISASTROUS FIRST YEAR FOR JAY Z’S TIDAL; IS SALE IMMINENT?
"Is cash-strapped Tidal about to be sold? The latest rumor has it that a sale to one of the big tech entities is a done deal in handshake form. This sexy speculation occurs at a particularly ugly moment for the company.
The Wall Street Journal made no attempt to sugarcoat the situation in a Tuesday morning story:
“In the year rap mogul Jay Z took control of Tidal, the music-streaming service more than doubled its net loss
, burning cash at a rapid rate and testing the depth of its owner’s pocket,” reads the lead.
According to a legal filing sourced by WSJ, Aspiro AB, Tidal’s Swedish holding company, recorded a net loss of 239 million Swedish kronor ($28 million) last year, compared with a net loss of 88.9 million kronor in 2014.
Aspiro had net cash of 35.4 million Swedish kronor at the end of 2015, down from 63.5 million kronor a year earlier. That was despite receiving a cash injection of 93.6 million kronor through a rights issue.
A board assessment had concluded the company lacked funding for 2016, the filing acknowledged, but added, “The board believes the company will be able to secure new financing.”
It appears that the company paid nearly 300 million Swedish kronor in royalty fees to record labels last year, or roughly three quarters of revenue.
Here’s a stat that indicates Tidal’s lack of scale: Drake's total streams on all services surpass Tidal's total streams of the top 1,000 songs by half a billion
It’s symptomatic of the company’s degree of desperation that Kanye West’s first week or two of streams were not reported, and Tidal claimed the number was 250 million—a monumental exaggeration
Not only is Tidal bleeding money, but the loss of exclusives to attract new subscribers, exacerbated by its own artist owners bailing (e.g., Jason Aldean bypassing the service, Kanye’s album with Drake going to Apple Music) is rendering the prospectus even more dire.
Nonetheless, the bones of the service are believed to be superior to Apple Music and Spotify, and the service’s reported 4.2m subs have value—making the above rumor seem plausible."