Exclusive: Jay Z Announcing Tidal Shutdown In $1.4 Billion Google Buyout

Jay Z Hints at Tidal Shutdown In Now-Deleted Tweet
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Jay Z Hints at Tidal Shutdown In Now-Deleted Tweet
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A tweet issued Thursday (March 31st) from Jay-Z’s verified account, since deleted.

Please note: After getting a very serious phone call this afternoon from Tidal’s attorneys at ReedSmith LLP, I’d like to emphasize that this is an April Fools’ joke.  Thanks!

Jay Z is now liquidating his ownership in Tidal with plans for a complete shutdown and sale, according to details confirmed by multiple sources and a (now deleted) series of tweets.  The rapper is planning to announce the closure of the platform at the historic Grand Hotel in Oslo, Norway, in a private event for key investors and members of the media later this evening (Friday).  Oslo is where Tidal originated, and remains a critical and active hub for the service.

The announcement is expected to also include top-level information related to a Tidal subscriber acquisition by Google, part of  a now-consolidating streaming music space.

News of the Tidal shutdown comes amidst a difficult launch phase.  One source close to the Tidal situation pointed to a ‘bevy of frustrations’ experienced by Jay Z (real name Sean Carter), including a constantly changing Kanye West album that is now getting syndicated to rivals Apple Music and Spotify.  Other concerns include an avalanche of legal problems and non-stop technical glitches, data reporting errors, disgruntled customer complaints, an ever-changing leadership cast, and a customer base of ‘high maintenance audiophiles’.  “This was reaching its 100th problem,” the source noted, referring to the classic Jay Z track, “99 Problems,” released in 2004.

More importantly, Tidal’s 3 million-plus paying subscribers will be transitioned to Google Play Music All Access and YouTube Red, according to a lucrative acquisition deal by Google worth close to $1.4 billion, according to DMN informants.

Google representatives declined to respond to inquiries related to the streaming purchase.

That deal may also involve a roll-up of Tidal with Spotify.  Google is now heavily rumored to be preparing to acquire for north of $14 billion, after calling the acquisition off in 2015.  The Spotify deal could be announced as early as next week in the Wall Street Journal, though sources emphasized that those talks are separate and haven’t been finalized.

Either way, the Tidal acquisition would potentially make Jay Z the next ‘rap billionaire,’ with Dr. Dre first claiming that status with his $3 billion sale of Beats by Dre to Apple.

The invite-only event in Oslo was confirmed by a press representative of Tidal to Digital Music News at approximately 10:45 pm Thursday evening (PT), though the conversation was brief and the details were extremely light.  The representative flatly declined to offer any reasons ahead of the event, outside of stating that ‘Jay Z will have some very important news concerning the future of Tidal and its fans.’

The shocking development comes on the heels of a serious lawsuit between Carter and the previous owners of Tidal, the Olso-based Aspiro AG.  Those legal entanglements, first reported by Swedish publication Breakit, involved a number of issues tied to proper disclosure of both the number of subscribers and other key assets related to Tidal.

Security around the Grand Hotel, located in central Oslo, has been elevated after news leaked among local denizens.  In a recent poll, Jay Z was listed as the third most popular rapper amongst Norwegians, behind only Fetty Wap and local rapper Rimer Det.

Updated, Apr 1 7:05 am PT: Early Friday morning, Digital Music News received a confidential copy of Jay Z’s planned speech, which solidly confirms the information shared by earlier sources.  We have not been given authorization to publish the speech.

More details as they become available.


40 Responses

  1. Tidal Employee

    This is absolutely true, we’re about to make an official announcement.


      Will Google be able to maintain the HI-FI quality streaming that was the hallmark of the Tidal service?



      To Tidal Employee:

      When will the announcement be made by Tidal? April 1st?

    • Tidal

      I would love to work for this company. Being my name is Tidal Richmond

  2. Adam

    Paul – your April Fools posts need some variety.

    Streaming service X being bought by Google is getting old….

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Thanks Adam, and my apologies if I can’t respond to all comments and emails as promptly as I’d like. I’m currently in Oslo with other members of the media, awaiting an official statement on the matter. I had to run out to a local Starbucks (yeah, they have Starbucks here) to get some wifi given some issues at the hotel; I’ll keep everyone updated with new developments.

      • Kimeyo

        Dear Paul I know you’re not a jokester when it comes to business matters…. This just proves my past comments it’s easy to get investors involved in rear ideas however if you do not fully understand Copyright Law and Intellectual Property rights this going to repeat itself over and over again… Let’s just face the facts Steve Jobs will go down in history as the highest paid Music Executive without ever having to own 1 copyright…

        • Anonymous

          Apple has a significant holding of copyrights. Just not in music.

    • steven corn

      Yeah, you’re too creative to use the same formula. Now, if it were the opposite and Jay-Z was buying Google…

      • Paul Resnikoff

        Steven, I realize the timing of this development is more a than a bit inopportune, though what I can say is that reporters from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Los Angeles Times, Re/Code, Politico, Rolling Stone, Bretibart, Huffington Post, Drudge Report, Reuters, AP, Pitchfork, The Guardian, as well as Two Dope Boyz are all on hand in the media quarantine under strict embargo but you will see heavy coverage on this important development ahead.

        • steven corn

          What about Howard Stern? Is he going to be there, too?

          • Daniyal

            Heard Trumps involved in the deal, as well as Mike Tyson. This is going to be insane. Good work DMN!

  3. Aprilthirst

    In other news, Digital Music News bought by the national enquirer

  4. Anonymous

    The best April Fool’s Day prank on DMN would be going a full day without posting a ‘story’ with some terrible graph or chart.

  5. me

    One of these days Google is going to buy out all the streaming services for real, but nobody will believe you when you report about it, Paul.

    • Name2

      A day when Resnikoff is not credible? Bite your tongue!

  6. Jason

    A long time I did’nt visit your site, Paul. Happy to see a pic of your face on it. You look so young and kinky. In my imagination you were 55+ and quite pot-bellied. Are you gay ? As in the music business they are so often… : )

  7. www.redtapex.com

    @Paul, you are the man. I love your content that you post… but this man… is killing me.. .

  8. Rude Boi

    I have confirmed with high level sources at Google that this is not true. Nice try, Paul. Enjoy Oslo.

    • Rikki

      oh bo3y i just wanna hear da next jay zee turd bout how he turned his wifey into a street ho. dat aint noe aaaapril fooolzzz yoke

  9. L. Bart

    It’s not true now, but someday someone will buy Tidal.

  10. Elijah

    I seriously doubt this is true. Why would they sell it now and they are about to have it where you can stream movies. Just doesn’t make sense to sell it before the availability of streaming movies is allowed.

  11. SP

    Never going to trust this dude again with any news…smh

  12. Dre

    For a website struggling to get views this was a ridiculous move putting out this fake story regardless if its April 1st. This will be my 1st and last time I ever visit this website.

  13. Let Loose

    We really need to get back to the basic of the ,Zulu nation , and start killing as many of these motherfuckers as we can ! Shank that , motherfucker , bust that bitch in his head and stomp his goddamn grill into the ground ! ‘ Black Panther ‘ immortal–what you want to do about it , Bitch ! Bastard , motherfuckers ! I’m no Marxist ; I’m a misplaced black sore in your society ready to behead your ass and take it back to Africa ! Once there , in the honor of President , Idi Amin Dada , your head is going to be thrown inside a deep freezer and the rats are going to be sent in to shit on you before they freeze alongside you in your eternal resting place. . .:: LX

  14. Ian

    How stupid can you get? You got yourself in trouble with Tidal’s lawyers and now you have lost all credibilty as a lead source on music news. When will news agencies learn that April Fool’s is a day best left alone. I hope Tidal sues you to prove a point.

  15. Elijah

    It’s a shame what some of these loser sites do to get attention

  16. Nero

    Sadly, April first has become amateur hour on the interwebs.

    Where’s the humor? Your fake news story is not even remotely entertaining.

  17. Cliff Jumper

    Jeez, who do you think you are? Bob Lefsetz?