No matter how bad you mess something up, you’ll probably never screw up anything as badly as Jay Z and company have screwed up the launch of Tidal. Last week, we saw reports saying that Tidal was in danger of losing the rights to stream artists from Sony’s catalog — including the songs of Jay Z’s wife and flagship Tidal artist Beyoncé — unless it forked over a big advance that the company was having trouble finding money to pay. Music Business News has filled in some more of the details on this story and it looks like Tidal still hasn’t come up with the cash to pay off Sony.
“Sources suggest that Tidal is now looking for a streaming partner to help lift some of the financial burden,” the publication reports. “An attempted get-together with Rhapsody earlier this year went nowhere, but the platform continues to search for the chance to buddy-up with one of the industry’s smaller players. The likes of Rdio could be an ideal option; bringing together an established player within the streaming world with Tidal’s editorial and brand power.”
All the same, we have a hard time imagining that scrambling around to find another streaming service to help raise cash just months after its launch was what Jay Z had in mind when Tidal went live earlier this year.
In other Tidal news, Business Insider brings us word that rapper 50 Cent has offered a very good explanation for why the service is likely doomed — as we’ve seen with Beyoncé, the artists involved in founding Tidal don’t control their own music. As long as their labels have the rights to put their music on Spotify, Pandora and other services that cost less money, it’s just not likely that Tidal will gain significant marketplace traction.
“They probably could’ve did something more exciting if they reached out, because the people you saw there don’t even own the rights to their music,” said 50 Cent recently. “So they can’t say it’s gonna come out of Tidal. It has to go everywhere. So why would you actually buy Tidal to get something that would be everywhere else?”