Batten down the hatches, TIDAL fans. You may not be streaming for much longer.
It’s been reported that the Jay-Z-helmed music and content service has lost a whopping $44 million 2016. The reports were first spotted in a feature in Dagens Næringsliv, a Norwegian business publication. The publication also suggests that TIDAL has been pumping up its reported user subscription numbers, and that the platform only has a good six months of capital left. American tech website The Verge was the first stateside publication to publicize the findings from Dagens Næringsliv. But TIDALl refuted the claims in a statement: “We have experienced negative stories about Tidal since its inception and we have done nothing but grow the business each year.”
According to DN, TIDAL lost over NOK$368 million before taxes last year, which equals $44 million USD. It seems that Sprint’s partnership with the platform, acquiring more than 33 percent of TIDALl, wasn’t enough to keep it afloat. Roc Nation Sports president Juan Perez reportedly said that the Sprint deal was enough to give Tidal “sufficient working capital for the next 12-18 months.”
While other platforms have no issue releasing public subscriber reports—Spotify announced that it crossed the 60 million subscribers mark, and Apple Music said it has over 30 million users—TIDAL has yet to share its subscriber numbers. In 2016, the service claimed it had over 3 million subscribers, but DN reports that it realistically has only about 1 million active subscribers. Tidal is still optimistic that it will be in the black by the end of the year, despite being on its fifth CEO in just under two years. Former CEO Jeff Toig was replaced by Richard Sanders in August, who came from Sony Music.