The biggest artist on Spotify is a shareholder in TIDAL

Well this is a little awkward.

Rihanna became the biggest artist on Spotify yesterday, overtaking Justin Bieber by storming to 31.3m active fans worldwide on the platform.

That’s a big number: ten times more than TIDAL’s entire user base, in fact.

Not only that: if Spotify, as we believe, has around 100m active users worldwide, almost a third of them are listening to Rihanna right now.


What’s particularly interesting about the TIDAL comparison, of course, is that Rihanna is a shareholder in Jay Z’s company.

She is believed to have been given a 3% slice of the company after it was acquired by Jay Z’s Project Panther Bidco last year, but that figure could of course have been diluted since.

Other stars who own equity in TIDAL include Kanye West, Deadmau5, Arcade Fire, Madonna, Calvin Harris and Beyonce.

TIDAL has largely grown on the basis that its artist owners will provide it with exclusives and windowed releases ahead of other streaming services.


The most talked-about example is Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo, which finally arrived on the likes of Apple Music and Spotify this week, almost two months after its release.

Rihanna has done her own bit of TIDAL exclusive loving, though.

Back in January, her latest album ANTI was made available on the service before it came to rivals – including Spotify.

There was, as is par for the course with TIDAL, a bit of scandal attached to the release, when it leaked early onto piracy sites.

TIDAL publicly blamed Universal Music Group for the leak, before UMG shot back.

A senior source at the major told MBW at the time: “This accusation is both ridiculous and false.

“We delivered the content exactly to their specs. It’s something we do every day on a global basis.

“They are trying to pass blame for their own incompetence.”Music Business Worldwide

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