Jay Z Files ‘Giant Lawsuit’ Against Former Tidal Owners

Breaking: Jay Z Files 'Giant Lawsuit' Against Former Tidal Owners
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Today, Breakit — a Swedish news publication — reported that Jay Z is filing a ‘giant lawsuit’ against former Tidal owners.

According to the report, the rapper claims that the worldwide subscriber numbers he was given at point of sale were misleading.  Additionally, various statements relating to the condition of the business were allegedly exaggerated.   As a result of the deceptive information, Jay Z is taking legal action.

Jay Z started off by writing several letters to the previous shareholders of Tidal and owner of Aspiro (Tidal’s parent company), Schibsted ASA.  Those letters expressed dissatisfaction with inflated user numbers when Project Panther Bidco (Jay Z’s finance company) bought the service last year for a reported $57 million.

Anders Rikter, Schibsted Communications Manager, told Dagens Næringsliv that the company was “unsympathetic” to those letters, and explained to BreakIt that transparency in financial reporting was upheld.  For starters, this was a requirement of a public traded company.

Why would Jay Z take the legal route now?  The suit isn’t a complete surprise and does follow string of written letters, but if the service was doing well and growth was accelerating, there would be little incentive to go down the road of a lengthy court battle.  All of which suggests that Tidal may be struggling.

Perhaps the numbers aren’t as solid as they appear.  Earlier this week, Tidal announced its three millionth subscriber, a major milestone albeit a self-reported one.  Regardless, it falls way behind Spotify’s 30 million and Apple Music’s 11 million.

But a bigger issue could be lurking in the fundamentals.  Due diligence is the chore of the buyer, though skeletons sometimes surface after the deal is signed.

Update: Tidal have directly reached out to me with a statement on the matter.

It reads, ”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. 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. While we cannot share further comment during active legal proceedings, we’re proud of our success and remain focused on delivering the best experience for artists and fans.”



(Image by Ultra5280, Attribution 2.0 Generic, cc by 2.0)

2 Responses

  1. Remi Swierczek

    Dear Jay Z,
    Again your music observing, humble, inventor asking you to STOP your hopeless all inclusive streaming monetization games! USE YOUR POLITICAL POWER and get new “fair use act” before Obama goes away. Next day music will be locked in virtual walls and over 100,000 Radio stations, few screwed up streamers and about 10 million public places will be converted to music stores.

    Music has more intrinsic value than all digital advertising which is fueling blinded by ads Google music killer.

    $200B music industry is no brainer and will triple Google by 2025.

    We just have to see Larry Page so he can exit digital medieval and grab the biggest MOONSHOT of his life.
    It will be VERY FAIR to thousands of creators and Google shareholders.

  2. Anonymous

    …because it’s already April 1 in Sweden? 🙂