Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Jay-Z's streaming service Tidal 'post huge losses' of $28 million

Written by AFP — Jay-Z's music streaming service Tidal reportedly posted heavy losses and struggled to make payments on time last year.

Tidal's parent group Aspiro had a loss of $28 million (239.5 million Swedish kronor) last year, according to the Norwegian business daily Dagens Naeringsliv.

The outlet discovered the huge losses after examining the accounts of the Swedish-based company.

Tidal is Aspiro's core holding.

According to the newspaper, Tidal received about 100 payment default records since Jay-Z bought the company through his holding group, Project Panther Bidco, for $56 million in March 2015.

It also has 3.6 million Norwegian kroner (390,000 euros, $438,000) in outstanding payments due, DN claimed.

Aspiro, a Norwegian company headquartered in the Swedish town of Malmo, was not immediately available for comment.

The New York rapper turned mogul's lawyers have reportedly accused Tidal's former owners, including Norwegian media group Schibsted, of overstating the number of paying customers it had ahead of last year's sale.

The accusation has been denied.

Tidal has made headlines in recent times after it was reported Apple was in talks with the company about a possible purchase, which was designed to beef up its streaming service, Apple Music.

Tidal soared in popularity early this year after Beyonce - Jay-Z's wife - released her latest album 'Lemonade' exclusively on the service.

An accompanying film version of the album was broadcast on HBO, and the album was quickly made available on iTunes.

Tidal, which had a mixed reception after its relaunch last year, has also heavily promoted exclusives, such as albums by Rihanna and Kanye West.

The company said its subscriber base had grown to more than 3 million in March this year, an increase of about 2.5 million from when it first launched in the U.S. a year earlier.

According to Billboard, about 1.35 million - or 45 per cent - had signed up for the company's premium 'hi-fidelity' service that costs $19.99 a month.

The remaining customers had the standard $9.99 subscription.

And while official updated figures are yet to be released, it was estimated Beyonce's Lemonade added about 1.2 million new customers, which would mean about 4.2 million people are signed up with the service.

Tidal is still behind the two market leaders for streaming, Spotify and Apple Music, which have about 30 million and 11 million subscribers respectively.

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