Wouldn’t It Be Funny if Beyoncé’s Music Ends Up Getting Pulled From Tidal?
We won’t debase ourselves by making a “99 Problems” joke, but suffice it to say Jay Z’s streaming music service, Tidal, has more problems than it knows how to handle. And its latest problem is the most ironic yet.
According to Bloomberg, Tidal has yet to come to terms with Sony Music Entertainment, which owns the rights to, among others, Beyoncé‘s catalog of music. Though Jay struck a deal with Universal Music, he has yet to do so with either Sony or Warner, who are allegedly asking for large advances in return for rights to stream their artists’ music. If Jay can’t pay up, that means Beyoncé, a Sony artist, could see her music pulled from the platform that she and her husband have championed for the last two months.
Nonetheless, if Jay Z can’t come up with the cash for Sony, he faces the possibility that Tidal might lose albums from some of its co-owners, most painfully Beyoncé, a Sony artist. “I’m pretty sure most of the artists that were at the press conference don’t control their own streaming rights,” says Peter Mensch, co-founder of Q Prime, the talent agency that manages the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica.
Of all the embarrassing things that have happened since Tidal’s launch (and there have been a lot), losing the rights to stream one of its stakeholder’s music — and especially a stakeholder as high-profile and involved as Beyoncé — would undoubtedly be the most mortifying blow to the fledgling service yet.
That’s not all. Last month, Jay Z took to Twitter to defend Tidal against a number of criticisms, including the rumor that no one was signing up for the service. At the time, he claimed the service already had 770,000 subscribers (though he was likely counting subscribers who signed up for Aspiro, which was the company Jay acquired and rebranded as Tidal). That number now is, apparently, more like 900,000, though analysts suspect many of those people signed up for the free month-long trial and will abandon the service before they have to start paying.
And even that’s not everything.
Beyoncé shared a photo of the staff at Tidal HQ to her website, and fans were quick to notice that almost the entire staff was caucasian. Unsurprisingly, the fans were not happy. Here’s the photo. You’ll spot Bey-Z quite easily, the two of them being the only two noticeable people of color.
TL;DR: Tidal’s in trouble, guys. Maybe consider changing your blue Twitter avatar back to a picture of you at the beach. It’s summer, after all.