Jay Z is Suing Former Tidal Owners

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When Tidal launched it was supposed to be the next big thing in music streaming. Unfortunately, it has had some pitfalls and interesting diversions along the way–the latest is news of a lawsuit that Jay Z is filing against Tidal’s previous owners, claiming that they misled his team about the streaming company when he purchased it.

According to a Nordic business news outlet, Jay Z’s team recently wrote to some of the executives of WiMP; Tidal is a spinoff of that Scandinavian streaming service. The letters accused the shareholders of exaggerating how many subscribers Tidal had when Jay Z purchased it. While WiMP put the number at 530,000, the letters allege that that number was inflated.  While it’s unclear how WiMP may have inflated those numbers, it could have been because it counted people who were subscribers as a result of “bonus subscription deals” worked out with cable and phone companies.

Jay Z bought Tidal (and its parent company Aspiro) for approximately $57 million last year, and is filing suit seeking $15 million now as a result of the supposedly misrepresented numbers.

The Verge reports Tidal’s motivation for filing the lawsuit:

The growth in our subscriber numbers has been even more phenomenal than we’ve previously shared. It became clear after taking control of TIDAL and conducting our own audit that the total number of subscribers was actually well below the 540,000 reported to us by the prior owners. As a result, we have now served legal notice to parties involved in the sale.

However, it’s not all bad news for the streaming service–Tidal also shared some good news about its growth this week as well:

We are excited that one year after TIDAL launched, we have surpassed 3 million subscribers globally. The growth in our subscriber numbers has been even more phenomenal than we’ve previously shared.

Additionally, Tidal may be getting into the video streaming business. The company has already picked up a scripted series from YouTube, and reportedly wants to stream outside films as well as exclusives that it would produce. The new video features could be up and ready to go as early as June.

Tidal has had some bumps along the way since it launched last year. But it’s certainly disrupted the music industry, and may now be disrupting video streaming services. While Jay Z may be looking to the past for some retribution, it’s what is potentially ahead for Tidal that promises to be, at the very least, interesting.

Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at amahoney@LawStreetMedia.com.



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