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Music PopWrapped | Music

TIDAL Faces Lawsuit For Unpaid Royalties

Mike Nied | PopWrapped Author

Mike Nied

03/02/2016 7:55 am
PopWrapped | Music
TIDAL Faces Lawsuit For Unpaid Royalties | TIDAL
Media Courtesy of liveforlivemusic.com

Just when things were looking up for TIDAL, the company is struck with a lawsuit for not paying royalties. The irony is real here...

This week things were looking up for Jay Z's controversial streaming service. After months of attempts to boost the numbers of users accessing the service, the high profile release of Rihanna and then Kanye West's albums on the service was finally giving the service a bit of a boost. Sources were estimating that West's The Life of Pablo release was responsible for more than doubling the amount of users, bringing numbers up from around 1 million to around 2.5 million.

Hopefully they enjoyed the good news, because it looks like the company is in more trouble...

Today TIDAL was hit by a $5 million lawsuit, as artists and management goes after the company for unpaid royalties. Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele (of band American Dollar) are responsible for the lawsuit, and they allege that the company has short-changed them by at least 35% of funds owed for streaming. They also claim that TIDAL has failed to provide artists with adequate accounting reports to track their royalties.

Claims of unpaid royalties are particularly problematic, as Jay Z heralded the streaming service as a mecca for change in the music industry. During the TIDAL launch event, Jay and a slew of industry heavy hitters including Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Beyonce, and Madonna promised to reattach value to music, which they claim has been rendered invaluable by freemium streaming services such as Spotify. Claims that this was a scheme for already established and wealthy artists to get even wealthier were met with disdain by Jay Z, who promised to pay as much as a "75% royalty rate to ALL artists, writers, and producers - not just the founding members on stage."

Unfortunately, those statements are coming back to haunt the service, as Yesh Music and Emanuele referenced them in their suit. "Ironically, when Defendant Carter purchased the TIDAL Music Service in 2015, it claimed it would be the first streaming service to pay the artists. Different owner, same game" they wrote.

It's unclear exactly how the lawsuit will proceed, though it is fair to assume that things will get relatively messy for the service. It had recently be rumored that Samsung, Google, and Spotify were all interested in purchasing and revamping the service in the wake of Kanye's album release; however, they'll probably be hesitant to get involved until Jay Z and co. are able to figure things out...

Considering his adamant vows that this was not a vanity project, this is going to be a hard hit to Jay Z. It's undeniably ironic though!

Weigh in on TIDAL's latest drama below!


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