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Apple Music Rival Tidal Reportedly Facing Money Problems Amid 'Stalled' User Growth

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Streaming music service Tidal is facing money problems and could run out of working capital within the next six months, according to a report this week by Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (via The Verge). The report stated that the money issues likely stem from Tidal's user growth, which is said to have "stalled" recently.

Sprint bought a 33 percent stake in Tidal this past January, and at the time Jay Z's business partner and Roc Nation Sports president Juan Perez mentioned that the carrier's investment gave Tidal "sufficient working capital for the next 12-18 months." The Jay Z owned service is said to have lost around NOK$368 million (around $44 million) before taxes in 2016, and Tidal reportedly claims that it will break even and achieve profitability in mid-2018.


Regarding the new claim of Tidal's money and subscriber problems, a company spokesperson told The Verge the following: "We have experienced negative stories about Tidal since its inception and we have done nothing but grow the business each year."

It isn't clear exactly how many people are subscribed to Tidal since the service has refrained from releasing such a count following the Sprint deal. At that time, Dagens Næringsliv again reported on Tidal, this time focusing on a claim that it was inflating subscriber numbers as far back as when Jay Z acquired it in 2015. The newspaper said it obtained internal reports from Tidal that showed it had 350,000 subscribers in September 2015, at which time Jay Z said it had gained 1 million subscribers.

Subsequent inflation numbers surfaced in March 2016, and afterwards the company hasn't provided any data regarding the amount of its subscriber base. As a point of comparison, Spotify remains in the lead for music streaming services with over 60 million paid subscribers as of July, while Apple Music follows with over 30 million as of September.

Article Link: Apple Music Rival Tidal Reportedly Facing Money Problems Amid 'Stalled' User Growth
 

asdavis10

macrumors 6502
Feb 3, 2008
456
2,488
Bermuda
I think many people signed up for the Tidal trial at certain exclusive launch periods, but few stayed on for the subscription. It's an expensive service for casual music listeners who don't care about hi-fidelity music. I don't even think it makes sense for an Apple acquisition. Just let the service shutter and get some of their subscribers for free.
 
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Kaibelf

Suspended
Apr 29, 2009
2,445
7,438
Silicon Valley, CA
I think Tidal's message was off from the beginning. If they focused on it being an exclusive club that gets early access to top artists, fine. However, they had their coming out party with a stage full of people like Jay-Z, Kanye, Deadmaus, and others who are incredibly wealthy and successful talking about how it would make sure they got paid.

In the end, for a new artist the number of users who may hear them is what ultimately matters, so it made NO sense to hitch their wagon to a limited service where the main draw was streaming rights for artists that were so successful that they would dominate all content delivery.
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I think many people signed up for the Tidal trial at certain exclusive launch periods, but few stayed on for the subscription. It's an expensive service for casual music listeners who don't care about hi-fidelity music. I don't even think it makes sense for an Apple acquisition. Just let the service shutter and get some of their subscribers for free.

Did you clear this sentence with Kanye? :eek:
 
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Avieshek

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Dec 7, 2013
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India
Isn't SoundCloud in the same boat? Google should probably buy and merge them both and raise them independent like YouTube.
 
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simonmet

Cancelled
Sep 9, 2012
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Sydney
This is disappointing to hear but it sounds like they’re not in immediate danger of collapse. I’ve been a Hi-Fi subscriber for most of the past year and though it has some bugs and quirks the app is still way nicer to use than Apple’s Music.

I agree that if Apple went lossless they’d effectively kill Tidal. It seems like a no-brainer for them to do so so I can’t understand why they haven’t. It’s often been suggested that Apple even buy Tidal, not that I can see this happening.

An added bonus if Apple went lossless is my carrier lets me stream Apple Music for free so I’d love the opportunity to stream Apple’s entire catalogue in lossless without draining my cellular data cap.
 
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dampfnudel

macrumors 68040
Aug 14, 2010
3,232
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Brooklyn, NY
It seems unless you're Spotify, music streaming is impossible to do as your sole business. And yes, even Spotify is struggling to make a profit.
I think in general a lot of people have “subscription fatigue” and are tired of paying monthly for some services which they are increasingly questioning the value of (to them). I see Spotify eventually being purchased by another company that will use the service more as a “lure” to get customers through the door to use the main component/entity (hardware/software/more significant services) of their business that keeps the lights on and more.
 
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78Bandit

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2009
683
1,234
Without exclusive deals (which I absolutely hate) the differentiation between streaming music providers is price and quality of user experience. Tidal's claim is the lossless quality of their music; however, the reality is unless you are streaming through a dedicated amplifier and expensive headphones/speakers 99.9% of users will never be able to tell the difference between a Tidal stream and a Spotify stream. A set of Beats headphones hooked up to a smartphone is going to sound pretty poor simply because of the power limitations of the DAC chip.

I'm all for competition. Tidal can either step up its game and provide a service a sufficient number of users are willing to pay for or they can shut down. Even Microsoft couldn't make it work and is shutting down its Groove music subscription service at the end of the year. I just don't think they will be able to compete with Spotify, Pandora, Apple, and Amazon.
 
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jonnyb098

macrumors 68040
Nov 16, 2010
3,042
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Michigan
EVERY streaming service is a money pit. The only reason Apple might end up being king is because they have so much cash to be able to pursue it as a passion. There no way to make any significant profit until the music industry gets rid of ALLLLL the middle men. Or streaming goes up to $20 + per month which many wont pay.

Spotify makes a great product but their app doesn't integrate with Siri and they have a really poor iPad experience ( no split screen ). For that alone Apple music is king for me. On top of that, my current library of 5000 songs is integrated right in.
 
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tkermit

macrumors 68040
Feb 20, 2004
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I see Spotify eventually being purchased by another company that will use the service more as a “lure” to get customers through the door to use the main component/entity (hardware/software/more significant services) of their business that keeps the lights on and more.
Sort of expected Microsoft to snatch them up before Groove Music had folded
 
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BODYBUILDERPAUL

macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2009
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I think in general a lot of people have “subscription fatigue” and are tired of paying monthly for some services which they are increasingly questioning the value of (to them). I see Spotify eventually being purchased by another company that will use the service more as a “lure” to get customers through the door to use the main component/entity (hardware/software/more significant services) of their business that keeps the lights on and more.

I totally agree. £20 here in the UK a month to rent music. It's crazy, people's incomes in the UK are at a all time low. Apple puts its prices up 20%. Mobile phone contracts, broadband, Netflix etc is a large amount of money on top of the usual rent, car leasing, food, gym, travel, education etc. The problem is, these rental markets are just too saturated and easily forgotten. Here in the UK, EE mobile is constantly trying to give me Apple Music for free for 6 months but i'm not prepared to try it whilst it's integrated into iTunes. I value my iTunes library - its taken me years to build and when i read on MacRumors of people losing tracks etc etc because of AM, it was a no way. I guess if AM had a separate app well away from my music and playlists then... maybe. But then, i'd rather pay £10 a month for iTunes downloads.
 
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sonamo

macrumors member
Jan 23, 2014
61
27
California
A few years back, before I heard about Tidal, I was still buying CDs for high-quality digital tracks. I'm a believer that the sound quality of digital music shouldn't get worse as we have made the transition away from CDs.

The catalog of Tidal is on par with all the other services. While there are other services like Deezer that offer lossless tracks, that subscription is really just for Sonos users, and Deezer doesn't have a desktop app and iPhone app for lossless. So Tidal really is one of a kind to me.

I hope that Tidal can do alright and stick around because it's my favorite service by far
 
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Applebot1

macrumors 6502a
Jan 4, 2014
689
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UK
Like many have pointed out for average user price is the defining factor which ultimately is the biggest problem for these streaming companies. We will see more fold in the coming years.
 
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sgroovez

macrumors newbie
Dec 13, 2017
2
1
Not one of the streaming companies is profiting. Watching all of them will be interesting. I am hopeful that MQA audio becomes more of a standard for all streaming media companies. That will make all of us audiophile's happy!
 
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