What Prince’s Death Means For Jay Z’s Tidal
“When Prince died suddenly late last month, millions mourned–and raced out to consume his work.
In the three days after news of his passing broke, Nielsen NLSN +1.31% tracked 579,000 digital and physical album sales for Prince’s music, a 42,000% increase over the three days prior. The Purple One sold a total of 2.3 million songs during that time frame.
But many fans looking to stream Prince’s hits quickly found they weren’t available on Spotify and other popular services. That’s because last summer, he pulled the bulk of his catalogue from all the usual suspects–except for Jay Z’s Tidal.
“Tidal is a new company, it’s brand new,” Prince told Ebony in a severely redacted interview last year (he apparently had a habit of refusing to let reporters record their conversations with him and then complaining about being misquoted). “When there’s a company like that, or the OWN network—situations where we finally get into a position to run things—we all should help.”
Tidal did not respond to a request for comment for this piece, but it seems that Prince was offered an equity stake in exchange for making Tidal his streaming home–much like Beyonce, Kanye West and the other artist-owners present at the service’s Avengers-style launch event last year.
Data on the number of streams tallied by Prince’s music in the days following his death is difficult to come by, but the precise total doesn’t necessarily matter. For Tidal, the value is not in the quantity, but in the scarcity.
Just like fans of Beyonce or Kanye West, Prince devotees in search of buffet-style consumption had only one true option: Tidal. This will remain the case for the foreseeable future–as long as the term of Prince’s deal with the service lasts, anyway.
“Once it comes to an end, either side could have an option to extend it,” says attorney Larry Iser, managing partner at Kinsella Weitzman Iser Kump & Aldisert. “Both Tidal and [the estate of] Prince, if they were happy, could extend it.”
Iser thinks it’s highly unlikely that Prince technically granted Tidal exclusive rights to his music–intellectual property that he clawed back from Warner after a well-publicized feud in the 1990s. Rather, he suspects Prince simply pulled his music from every other service, effectively granting Tidal exclusivity while giving himself some flexibility.
Now, as Prince’s heirs squabble and search for a will that may or may not exist, Jay Z’s service remains a magnet for Prince fans. That could help Tidal pad its reported 3 million paid subscriber count and possibly lead to a sale to a larger company like Apple AAPL -0.37% or Spotify.
Apple, after all, has already shown its willingness to acqui-hire hip-hop moguls and their businesses. Having Prince’s catalogue on hand certainly wouldn’t hurt Jay Z’s case.”
…..Continue reading more @ Forbes | 2016
PRINCE ESTATE TO JAY Z NO DEAL FOR HIS RECORDINGS …Issues with Tidal Deal Too
“Jay Z better be ready for some purple pain — Prince‘s estate wants nothing to do with his offer to snatch up any of the late singer’s music catalog.
Sources involved in the deal tell TMZ the estate fired off a letter to Jay’s team last month, saying it had no interest in signing a deal for “Roc Nation to exploit any of the intellectual property assets of the Estate.”
We broke the story, Jay Z had offered around $40 million to take control of Prince’s unreleased tracks.
More bad news — the estate is calling out Tidal for making 15 Prince albums available for streaming a couple months after his death. Those releases were unauthorized according to the estate.
Translation: You’re gonna owe us some dough.
The estate does acknowledge Prince made a deal with Jay for the 2015 release of his final album, “HitNRun Phase One” — but also says it hasn’t found proof of a $750k payment to close that deal.
Cha-ching, cha-ching, cha-ching.”
….Continue reading more @ TMZ | Nov 2016
Prince’s Estate Sues Jay Z’s Roc Nation Over Tidal’s Claim on Streaming Rights