Tidal Accused of Falling Behind on its Bills

Tim Maytom

jay-z.jpgMusic streaming service Tidal has failed to pay over 100 outstanding bills, with money owed to ad agencies, record labels, music festivals and even the company that owns its head office.

According to Norwegian newspaper Dagens Næringsliv, which has obtained documents from a credit reference company, the three companies that make up Tidal have 107 default notices on unpaid bills between them.

The outstanding debts reportedly include kr1.15m (£104,000) owed to the company which owns Tidal's head office, kr150,000 for Bylarm, a conference and music festival and kr30,800 owed to Oslo World Music Festival, along with various smaller sums to taxi companies, record labels, ad agencies, hotels and banks.

According to Dagens Næringsliv, more than 100 of these default notices have been incurred since rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z took control over Aspiro, the Swedish firm which operated the WiMP Music and Tidal Services in January 2015.

The service was relaunched in March 2015 with a focus on high-fidelity streaming and exclusive content from a variety of artists including Kanye West, Beyoncé and Rihanna. These two features served to help differentiate the service from other mobile streaming offerings, and Tidal has managed to amass 3m subscribers during its first year following the relaunch.

One of Tidal's central tenets during its relaunch was that it offered musicians and songwriters a fairer alternative to the compensation models used by services like Spotify and Apple Music, both of which have been criticised for the royalties they pay out. However, if the reports are true and Tidal is struggling to meet its financial obligations, it may soon find itself losing the artists it worked so hard to attract.