Rap mogul Jay Z continues to face problems with his perpetually malfunctioning music streaming service, Tidal. The service, which has had a rocky start to say the least, was recently hit with a lawsuit claiming that the company failed to pay out royalties to the tune of $5 million.
Remember, Tidal was launched under the guise of being a better deal for artist when compared to rivals like Spotify and Apple Music. Jay once said that artists would receive up to 75 percent of the royalties on each song sold. According to the duo American Dollar, that number is far from the truth.
The group alleged that Tidal licensed 118 of the band’s songs and had them available for streaming without the band’s permission. Their lawyer, Richard Garbarini, spoke to Complex and expressed that the group had previously asked their music be removed from the service months ago. “I find it fairly amazing an organization that claims it was going to pay the artists, systematically does not pay the artists,” Garbarini said.
Tidal has since responded to the lawsuit by issuing the following statement: “TIDAL is up to date on all royalties for the rights to the music stated in Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele’s claim and they are misinformed as to who, if anyone, owes royalty payments to them. As Yesh Music, LLC admits in their claim, TIDAL has the rights to the Master Recordings through its distributor Tunecore and have paid Tunecore in full for such exploitations. Their dispute appears to be over the mechanical licenses, which we are also up to date on payments via Harry Fox Agency our administrator of mechanical royalties…” As result, Tidal has removed the duo’s material from the streaming service.
This ordeal was another bump in the road for a service that it still struggling to find its legs. Recent reports have hinted towards a possible buyout from Samsung, Google and even rival Spotify.