Samsung has once again started talks to acquire the High Fidelity music streaming service, Tidal, from rapper Jay Z, and may have written a check to Kanye West for its involvement in the rapper’s seventh studio album, The Life of Pablo. According to the New York Post’s Claire Atkinson, they have something very ambitious in the pipeline and are being highly discreet about it, in case it leaks.
In his column, I.B. establishes that Tidal is believed to be hemorrhaging upwards of 10 million dollars per year, and the new subscribers for recent exclusives from Rihanna, Kanye and Beyoncé don’t appear to be sufficient enough to make the business endeavor sustainable.
Google and Spotify are also interested in the company. They believe that the premium service can help boost the digital music services they currently offer. Rather than an acquisition, Spotify appears interested in a “powered by” fusion, creating “Tidal powered by Spotify.
Economic pressure is most certainly on Tidal’s shoulders, as it is struggling to make on-time payments on some of its royalty bills. So much so, that Jay Z himself has had to reach into his own pockets to sustain the company. Sprint and SoftBank were prospective investors at one point, but any would-be investments never materialized.
To ensure its survival, Tidal needs the security of a new home. Its value has dropped by as much as 150 million dollars, being currently valued at 100 million. At the time of its launch, it was valued at around 250 million.
Wherever talks and negotiations lead, a deep involvement from Jay Z’s woman behind the scenes, Desiree Perez, is certain. She has been a trusted close associate of Jay Z for nearly two decades and is the person orchestrating all the five-star exclusive artist plays at Tidal. She has an extensive trajectory running SC Enterprises, and with her husband, “OG” Juan Perez, runs Roc Nation Sports.
Perez is known to be a tough negotiator, an uncompromising numbers cruncher, and has a history and street reputation which has led the N.Y. Daily News to call her “Babe Ruthless.” She has been involved in negotiations for the Beyoncé Formation stadium tour, as well as in the Rihanna Samsung deal. She is also part of the Hova Circle of Influence which, along with her husband is comprised of individuals such as Jay Brown, TyTy Smith, Chaka Pilgrim and Jana Fleischman. This powerhouse is the team behind Roc Nation, its management wings, its label operations and publishing, as well as the force behind Tidal itself.