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Without Jay Z and Beyonce, would TIDAL fail?

2 years ago by Ed Zitron in Innovation, People

TIDAL ($TIDAL) hasn’t had it easy, despite owning some of the biggest exclusives in music. They’re apparently in financial trouble, and allegedly have been puffing up their user numbers. Jay Z may not only be the owner of TIDAL , but one of the major reasons that it’s still alive today.

A chart ranking the monthly active users of TIDAL almost completely tracks around major releases from Beyoncé or Jay Z, looking sort of like a really boring roller coaster.

Mere days after the service lost its exclusivity for Kanye West’s Life of Pablo, TIDAL activity dropped.

During Beyonce’s exclusive release of Lemonade on April 23 2016, TIDAL saw almost an exact 30-day spike in users - coincidentally, they also have a 30 day trial - with a brief spike around June 23 2016 - in time with Adele finally coming to three streaming services, albeit not exclusively.

The service would virtually dwindle to nothing for the best part of a year, until June 30th - the release of Jay Zy’s 4:44.

And then - again 30 days later - just like that, the precipitous drop began on July 30th.

Comparing with Spotify, you can see the incredible disparity in stability between the two companies. Spotify experienced a giant spike on January 2016 - I assume because of Christmas subscriptions - only to stay at the same rate for months at a time. Confusingly, both March 17 and 28th they experienced a dip in rank (which didn’t telegraph with any major release, Spotify, Tidal or Apple Music exclusive) - but otherwise they’ve steadily grown.

I’m actually a TIDAL subscriber, if only for the high-quality streaming. Nevertheless, building your company based on a niche of music listeners and failing to consistently provide exclusives to them is not exactly a great business.

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Ed Zitron

Ed writes about technology, blockchain, PR, and more.

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