Since being acquired by Jay-Z, Tidal has been heavily reliant on superstar names to attract new subscribers — but it just lost a big one.
According to one report, Kanye West has walked away from the service over a dispute regarding payments for The Life of Pablo and exclusive music videos.
Tidal has been a headache for Jay-Z since he coughed up $56 million to acquire it in March 2015. The company has already seen three CEOs, and is currently operating without one since Jeff Toig quite back in March.
Things started looking up when Sprint acquired a 33 percent stake in the company for $200 million, but Tidal just hit another hurdle. According to TMZ, Kanye West has quit following a dispute.
Sources say Kanye has been unhappy with the company for a while, but the final straw came when the two parties could not agree on a deal over unpaid royalties. It is claimed Tidal owes Kanye more than $3 million.
“Our sources say a month ago Kanye’s lawyer sent a letter to Tidal, saying the company was in breach and the contract was terminated,” reads the report. “Over the next 2 weeks lawyers for both sides tried to resolve the conflict but failed.”
It’s thought the money owed relates to bonuses for Tidal’s short exclusivity over The Life of Pablo, Kanye’s latest album, which is said to have attracted over 1.5 million new subscribers to the service. Tidal also owes money for music videos.
Tidal’s response to Kanye is that it will sue him if he attempts to enter into another deal with a rival streaming service (TMZ understands Kanye would counter-sue). It also claims Kanye is still under contract and hasn’t delivered content that was initially promised.
In a track on his new 4:44 album, Jay-Z appears to fire shots at Kanye and calls him “insane” for an apparent lack of commitment.
But you ain’t a saint, this ain’t KumbaYe
But you got hurt because you did cool by ‘Ye
You gave him 20 million without blinkin’
He gave you 20 minutes on stage, f*** was he thinkin’?
‘F*** wrong with everybody?’ is what you sayin’
But if everybody’s crazy, you’re the one that’s insane
Jay-Z later suggests that the pair let go of their egos and work out their differences.