Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Subscription based music service and Apple Music competitor Tidal is months behind on its royalty payments to record labels according to a report from Norwegian news site Dagens Næringsliv that was translated by Music Business Worldwide.

Multiple sources have said that Tidal has not making timely payments to "three major international companies," claims confirmed by two Norway-based labels: Propellor Records and its distributor, Phonofile, a company owned by Sony.


Phonofile CEO Sveinung Rindal said that reports of delayed payments are correct, while Propeller Recordings CEO Frithjof Boye Hungnes said the company had not been paid since October. "People are talking about withdrawing [their music from TIDAL]; I think there is a pretty upset mood," said Hungnes.

Tidal in December was said to be facing money problems due to stalled user growth, and reports suggested that it could run out of working capital within six months.

Dagens Næringsliv has been investigating Tidal in recent weeks and has also accused the streaming music service of falsifying and inflating streaming numbers for Kanye West's The Life of Pablo album and Beyonce's Lemonade album.

Tidal claimed that Kanye West's album achieved 250 million streams within 10 days and that Beyonce's album reached 306 million streams within 15 days, figures that were said to be false following a year-long investigation conducted by Dagens Næringsliv and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's Center for Cyber and Information Security.

During the time that Tidal announced the Kanye West album figure, for example, Tidal said that it had 3 million subscribers. At 3 million subscribers, to reach that streaming number, each Tidal subscriber would have needed to play the Kanye album more than eight times per day, as Music Business Worldwide points out.

Tidal has called the claims a "smear campaign" of lies and falsehoods, constructed from stolen and manipulated information. "We will fight these claims vigorously," the service said in a statement.

Article Link: Apple Music Competitor Tidal Allegedly Months Behind on Royalty Payments


macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
New Hampshire, USA
I'm surprised. There have been multiple post in the last year saying that Tidal treats the artist much better than Apple music by giving them more money.


macrumors 68020
May 8, 2008
I'm surprised. There have been multiple post in the last year saying that Tidal treats the artist much better than Apple music by giving them more money.
There was an article and there’s actually websites that calculate payouts based on the number of streams and which service. Tidal per stream was higher, but not by much with Apple being next. The problem is when you have 3 million users compared to 50 million. The payout will be much lower over all. It’s also obviously unsustainable because it’s not profitable.
  • Like
Reactions: V.K.


macrumors 604
Jun 10, 2006
I feel like it's only a matter of time before the other major players offer lossless quality audio over streaming. It may take a few years, but once that happens, Tidal's value prop kind of goes out the window, doesn't it? Exclusives will only take you so far...

Jayne Doe

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2012
Ugh. Tidal is the only place to get some Prince music. Just buy it already Apple.

Apple streams Prince. Not all but a good bit. Music videos also. After his death, I think most players got at least some streaming rights. Totally not what he wanted but . . .


macrumors 6502a
Jul 26, 2005
Another company owned by Jay-Z not doing well. His sports agency business is not doing well either.


macrumors 6502
Nov 29, 2016
London, Canada/Los Angeles, CA
Trying to create partitions with use of Apple Music, Mac Rumors? lol You didn't go:

iPhone competitor Galaxy 8 batteries catch fire

As to say: "No, no, no...! When your Galaxy explodes, do not be under the impression we at Apple made this defective product. That's Samsung's bag."

Or does Tidal often get mixed up with being under the umbrella of Apple, maybe as an off-shoot of AM, and you feel a need to make it explicit this is not the case?

Just awkward to insert the Apple brand into the story header.


macrumors 68000
Jun 23, 2009
Tidal is operating on pure pride. They are to smug to face the realization they have no place here. Now they are just looking like straight idiots because they are too prideful to face the music.


macrumors regular
Mar 4, 2006
No one makes money off of music streaming services. The only reason Apple does reasonably well is the value added by baking the service into their ecosystem. Plus they can afford to run it at a loss. The only reason I use it is because it's the only seamless option with my watch and homepod.
  • Like
Reactions: 2010mini


Sep 9, 2012
I’ve been a fan and supporter of Tidal in the past, but their lossless music tier is too expensive (for me). Yes I know they have a cheaper option, but I just can’t do it knowing there’s a better quality version available; I’m something of an audiophile (though I dislike that term and its connotations) and without lossless it erases the selling point they have over other services. I was also not a heavy user so it was too much to pay for unlimited access.

Paradoxically, I think they need to lower the prices, or offer a limited streaming option at the lossless quality (say 20-30 hours a month) coupled with a strong advertising campaign centred around it’s main strengths (quality) to get more people in. I never saw Tidal advertised anywhere.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: jimthing


macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2013
Chicago, IL
So the streaming service owned by some of the most successful musicians in the industry is failing to pay for their music? I guess it's only wrong when the fans do it.
  • Like
Reactions: PinkFloyd71
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.