Tidal is facing a serious cash crunch, and is reportedly left with enough cash to support operations for six months, according to a report from Norway’s Dagens Næringsliv (DN). The music streaming service lost NOK$368 million (around US$44 million) before taxes last year. In comparison, Spotify suffered a loss of $581 million in 2016.
Confident on growth
Speaking to The Verge, a Tidal spokesperson, however, expressed confidence in the company’s growth.
“We have experienced negative stories about Tidal since its inception and we have done nothing but grow the business each year,” the spokesperson said.
Jay Z’s streaming music service claims that they would become profitable by mid-2018.
At the beginning of 2017, Sprint acquired 33% stake in Tidal. At the time, Jay-Z’s business partner and Roc Nation Sports president, Juan Perez, stated that Tidal now has sufficient working capital for the next 12-18 months, according to DN.
Apart from the cash position, there has also been suspense about Tidal’s subscriber base as in recent months, the company has not given any updates on the subscriber numbers. Back in September 2015, Jay-Z tweeted that his music streaming service has achieved the one million member milestone. However, DN, citing internal payments, claimed that the number is somewhere around 350,000. Six months later, Jay-Z stated that the service had hit the three million mark, whereas the actual number was somewhere around 850,000. Internally, the company has revealed a figure of 1.2 million subscribers. Since then, the company has not talked about the user base, notes Engadget.
Is Tidal music service losing to competitors?
Tidal music service has always been popular for its better music quality compared to the market leader Spotify. Tidal offers the files that are CD quality lossless, and some are even available as MQA hi-res audio files. Spotify reaches a maximum 320kbps. However, listeners do not seem to care as much about the audio quality offered by Tidal as much as they care about the price difference between Tidal’s HiFi tier cost of $19.99 and Spotify’s $9.99 plan.
Tidal’s USP has also started to fade out with rival services such as Deezer offering lossless and MQA streaming on its desktop app. Deezer’s service is expected to arrive on the mobile app in the near future. Meanwhile, Tidal also has stepped up its efforts to grow its user base.
Last week, Tidal extended its support to CarPlay allowing users to stream music directly through their infotainment systems on over 200 car models that are compatible. Tidal music service allows CarPlay subscribers to listen to the music, checkout their favorite albums and create playlists through the My Collection section. Further, there is an Explore section allowing users to search for new music and podcasts, as well as, the most played versions of both.
Before the Apple CarPlay update, Jay Z’s streaming music service added in-app controls for Sonos enabling users to control the sound without toggling between the apps. After Spotify and Pandora, Tidal is the only app to add this feature. With the app, users would be able to control playback on the Sonos speakers and even friends, who are on Wi-Fi network but do not have access to your Sonos speakers, can also play music through the speakers. Tidal, however, has not added support for group control as yet, making Pandora the only app to do that.