A legal filing via The Wall Street Journal paints a rather dire (albeit incomplete) picture of TIDAL’s current outlook. Faced with heavyweight competitors Apple and Spotify, the artist-owned coalition has struggled to capitalize on its exclusive releases. TIDAL’s parent company, Aspiro, has reported a $28 million USD loss for 2015, the very year JAY Z acquired it. This totals to nearly double the $10.4 million loss it chalked up in 2014. TIDAL’s spending went mostly towards record label royalty fees and its 86-person workforce, accounting for nearly $35 million USD and approximately $25.5 million USD respectively.
The company’s exclusive releases for Beyoncé, Kanye West and Prince may well have proved fruitful, reeling in 4.2 million USD paid subscribers as of June. However, the loss underlines the challenge it faces adding more listeners. However, this pales in comparison to Spotify’s 30 million and does not quite reach Apple Music’s enticement of 17 million paying users in 15 months. Compounded with the fact that TIDAL lacked a guaranteed source of funding going into 2016, TIDAL will continue to find itself in deep water.