It’s been quite an interesting week at TIDAL. Jay Z’s streaming service has been in the spotlight for not only firing their Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer over a royalties dispute, they’re also being sued for $5 million over those royalties. Pretty ironic considering the company once prided itself on paying artists more than its competitors.
This means TIDAL has gone through three CEOs since starting the company just last year. This comes after a class action complaint was filed against TIDAL. The lawsuit comes from John Emanuele, member of band American Dollar. According to the complaint, TIDAL has failed to deliver Notices of Intent to over 100 artists and fell short when paying royalties to artists.
TIDAL had this to say about the lawsuit:
“TIDAL is up to date on all royalties for the rights to the music stated in Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele’s claim and they are misinformed as to who, if anyone, owes royalty payments to them,” a TIDAL representative said in a statement to EW.
All of this is happening just a few weeks after Kanye West’s TIDAL-exclusive release of The Life of Pablo. Since TLOP has been released, it has been pirated over half a million times. I guess since Yeezy figured out his fans have been pirating his album, he wanted to see what this Torrent hype was all about.
On top of everything, Kanye is in another Twitter feud (big surprise). This time, its with producer and performer Deadmau5, creator of Xfer Records and fellow co-owner of TIDAL. Deadmau5 called out Kanye for posting a screenshot of his laptop that has a tab with The Pirate Bay open. Not only is he pirating songs, he’s allegedly ripped a download of beat-making software Serum and ripping songs straight off Youtube with MediaDownloader.
Of course, Kanye and his team denied that this was his computer.
“Kanye’s camp has confirmed to Pitchfork that the laptop in question is not Kanye’s. He posted the tweet as a joke, referring to the rampant piracy of The Life of Pablo. The computer is a Samsung. Kanye only uses Macs.”
-Kanye’s team in response to the screenshot
While this may be true, the screenshot shows that Kanye is using Safari, which comes pre-installed on Macs (C’mon Yeezy, can’t even download Chrome?). The computer monitor may be a Samsung, but an Apple OS is clearly loaded onto it – which means the claims that the above screenshot isn’t his computer is proven false.
TIDAL was flying high last week when they nearly doubled their subscriptions after Kanye’s TLOP release. This week, they’ve taken a turn for the worse. Some are wondering if all of this is the last nail in the coffin for TIDAL. They’ve definitely proven that trying to dive into an already well-established market is anything but easy.
I think it’s safe to say the folks over at TIDAL are gonna need a drink once this week is over.