Prepare yourself; big news came out this week from the Kanye camp, with TMZ breaking the story of Kanye West severing ties with Jay Z’s Tidal. The streaming service has certainly seen plenty of ups and downs since it was created in 2015. But Kanye West’s contribution in the form of 2016’s ‘The Life of Pablo.’ And the ridiculous amount of news coverage that anything he does generates cannot be understated. According to TMZ’s sources, the departure is related to his grievances over money and generally being unhappy with Tidal itself.
Yeezus, a co-owner of Tidal, is reportedly owed more than $3 million. He was supposedly not paid the bonus he was promised for bringing over a million new subscribers to the platform. Following his ‘The Life of Pablo’ album, one of the biggest exclusives that Tidal has seen to date. It is also claimed that he is owed money for a number of music videos, but Tidal disputes this claim, saying that he never delivered and produced them. TMZ further reported that there has been a dialogue between lawyers. Letters sent back and forth and no resolution surfacing. They claim that Tidal threatened to sue Kanye if he signed with another streaming service, but Kanye would counter-sue.
A later TMZ story claims that Kanye West is finished with exclusive streaming deals. As he has previously aired his displeasure at the ‘Tidal Apple beef.’ Seeing it as ruining music for people. With such a huge artist backing out, this could be a signal of further dark times to come for Tidal. Who may either have to up their payment to keep exclusive artists happy or start to look for a new business model. Could this have a knock on effect for Spotify, Apple Music and other streaming services. Time of further cooperation and less exclusive deals?