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Music Businesses The Almighty Buck

Tidal Is Reportedly Months Behind On Royalty Payments To Labels (theverge.com) 40

According to a report from Dagens Naeringsliv, streaming service Tidal is "behind with payments directly to the three major international record companies." The claim is backed up by two executives from a label and its Sony-owned distributor. They say they have not seen royalty payments in over six months. The Verge reports: According to a translation by Music Business Worldwide, Sveinung Rindal, CEO of distribution company Phonofile (a Sony subsidiary), told the Norwegian paper, "It is correct that there are delays in payments from Tidal," while Frithjof Boye Hungnes, CEO of Propeller Recordings, confirmed, "We have not been paid since October ... People are talking about withdrawing [their music from Tidal]; I think there is a pretty upset mood." Last December, a separate report from the same newspaper said that Tidal was running out of money, suggesting that it only had about six months of working capital left. The news comes shortly after the service was accused of faking the streaming numbers for Kanye West and Beyonce. Tidal is denying any such wrongdoings, saying: "We have experienced negative stories about Tidal since its inception and we have done nothing but grow the business each year."

Tidal Is Reportedly Months Behind On Royalty Payments To Labels

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  • Not denying (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @09:37PM (#56624266) Journal

    Tidal is denying any such wrongdoings, saying: "We have experienced negative stories about Tidal since its inception and we have done nothing but grow the business each year."

    That is exactly the opposite of a denial.

  • the poor starving artists? Isn't this kind of service supposed to pay the actual people who create ? /s

    • by youngone ( 975102 ) on Wednesday May 16, 2018 @10:20PM (#56624406)
      I did a quick search and it looks like Jay Z owns Tidal, but he sold 33% to Sprint for $200 million.
      I want to hate someone involved here, but am not sure who the bad guy is.

      On one side is the odious Jay Z and his stupid music service which seems have misreported the sales of the corporate shill Beyonce and the mentally unwell Kanye West, presumably in order to make them more money. (Although I am not sure how that would work).

      On the other hand there is the music industry cartel who will be desperate for Tidal to fail, despite never coming up with an original thought themselves.

      Maybe I will just continue to hate them all and also continue to withhold my money from all of them.

      • which seems have misreported the sales of the corporate shill Beyonce and the mentally unwell Kanye West

        You gave me a good lol today. Well stated.

    • Doesn't say that they're behind on payments to ASCAP/BMI/SESAC, though the performance royalty would come from the label and it's up to the label to decide whether to pay ahead of getting the money.

    • I seem to recall a story from just a short while ago which suggested Tidal had paid a couple artists very well indeed [thelocal.no].

      • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

        A short while ago? As in, when you read the summary above and it was mentioned in the second to last sentence:

        The news comes shortly after the service was accused of faking the streaming numbers for Kanye West and Beyonce.

  • ... the tide is going out

  • by GrandCow ( 229565 ) on Thursday May 17, 2018 @06:36AM (#56625678)
    Looks like Tidal was a cash grab hoping to get acquired by a larger company before they ran out of income. I assume the manipulated numbers for Kanye and Beyonce were because they were getting restless that the offer of a buyout hadn't come as fast as was promised behind closed doors when Jay Z was looking for investors.

    KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) July 30, 2016
    "Apple give Jay his check for Tidal now and stop tying to act like you Steve"

    Seems Kanye knew the plan from the start.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Said pretty much everyone, everywhere.

    Tim

  • Perhaps a little blurb about what Tidal is, why one would use it instead of Spotify, Google, Pandora, Amazon, etc.?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Supposedly the big draw was lossless streaming audio, but the single biggest draw I can recall was when Kanye announced Life of Pablo as being Tidal-exclusive.

    • Re:Who? (Score:5, Informative)

      by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot&worf,net> on Thursday May 17, 2018 @01:03PM (#56627802)

      Perhaps a little blurb about what Tidal is, why one would use it instead of Spotify, Google, Pandora, Amazon, etc.?

      They stream supposedly lossless audio. Supposedly because you can pay for more expensive plans that give you lossy audio (go figure).

      The idea behind it is somewhat sound - to offer high quality audio streaming. Instead of offering whatever those streams offer, you can stream losslessly encoded audio. Just like the maligned Pono store offered an easy way to buy lossless music.

      Of course, it only appeals to those who can stand its much higher costs, so it's not something you'd use if you were listening on your phone.

      It has a touch of audiophoolery to it, because you can pay even more for "MQA" audio (stands for "Master Quality Authenticated") which is supposedly a way to get "master studio quality audio" at lower bitrates (i.e., CD compatible). The trick is it's "backwards compatible" so you don't need an MQA player to listen to it, but one is preferred for "superior quality".

      The quotes are because it's pretty much crap - while you do get smaller files, it's mostly because you're actually reducing sample rates and bit depth, so you're left with a 44.1k/16bit or a 48k/16bit stream run through an "MQA" encoder which performs noticeably worse than if you simply used FLAC.

      Either way it's lossy, and even worse Meridian wants money from encoders, decoders and the like, and the wider audio community sees it as a poor half-assed way to "DRM" all music. "DRM" because the goal is not to protect rights, but rather, create a single monopoly standard getting everyone to pay Meridian for music.

      They also offer DSD streams, for extra audiophoolery. (DSD is worse than PCM as s distribution format).

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