Exclusive Releases Help Tidal Make Waves
Co-owned by the musicians themselves, Tidal was supposed to return the control over music to those who made it – the artists. However, despite the star power involved, Tidal failed to gain traction in a market that got even more competitive when Apple entered the scene with Apple Music later the same year. In March 2016, when Tidal last shared its user number publicly, the service had 3 million subscribers. However, earlier this year reports surfaced saying that the company may have overstated its subscriber numbers significantly.
For all its problems, Tidal has one golden lifejacket to keep it afloat: its blockbuster exclusives. Global superstars such as Rihanna, Kanye West, Beyoncé and most recently Jay-Z himself all released their latest albums exclusively on Tidal first. Some are still only streaming on Tidal, others quickly became available to buy (and in some cases stream) elsewhere. As our chart, based on Google Search Trends, illustrates, each of these releases has sparked interest in Tidal anew.
The pull of these artists and their releases may have helped convince Sprint to get aboard the Tidal train. The telecom giant reportedly paid $200 million for a 33 percent stake in the company in January, meaning that Jay-Z, who acquired Tidal’s parent company Aspiro for $56 million in 2015, and his co-owners already made a healthy profit on their investment.
This chart shows how exclusive releases spark interest in Tidal on Google search.