Since being acquired by Jay Z’s Project Panther Bidco in March, Tidal has secured licences from two major labels: Warner and Universal.
According to Bloomberg, Universal – which partners with Jay Z’s Roc Nation in the label world – licensed the service straight away, while Warner recently signed up.
However, Sony continues to hold out for an advance payment which has so far not been forthcoming.
That could change if Tidal unlocks some new cash flow. The HD streaming platform attempted to secure an investment-cum-partnership from US telco Sprint earlier this year, but it fell through.
Sources suggest that Tidal is now looking for a streaming partner to help lift some of the financial burden.
An attempted get-together with Rhapsody earlier this year went nowhere, but the platform continues to search for the chance to buddy-up with one of the industry’s smaller players.
The likes of Rdio could be an ideal option; bringing together an established player within the streaming world with Tidal’s editorial and brand power.
“We have announced no plans to remove our catalogue from tidal.”
Doug Morris, Sony Music
As for Sony’s refusal to license, its music remains on Tidal… for now.
Some have noted that Jay Z’s wife – and one of the ‘Tidal 16’ artists who have taken equity in the service – Beyoncé could feasibly have her music pulled off the platform by her record company.
But in a statement, Sony Music CEO Doug Morris said: “Jay-Z is a friend and business associate for many years. I have always admired his business acumen, his entrepreneurship and his passion for music.
“All of our content, including Beyoncé, is available through the Tidal service, and we have announced no plans to remove our catalogue from Tidal.
“Like all of our other partners, we are rooting for Jay and Tidal to succeed.”
A positive tone from Morris, but worth underlining that “we have announced no plans” is not the same thing as stating “we have no plans…”
One to keep an eye on.
Sony recently pulled a chunk of its catalogue off SoundCloud after failing to agree a licensing deal for the coming years.
This upset DJ Madeon who wrote on Twitter that the corporate fall-out was “holding artists hostage”.Music Business Worldwide