Tidal might be adding subscribers, but it's still struggling financially. A new report from The Wall Street Journal finds that the Jay Z-backed streaming service posted a net loss of $28 million in 2015, the year it was acquired by a group of artists led by Jay Z. This is way up from the $10.44 million loss the company saw the year before, and largely came due to increased marketing expenses.
There was some good news in the report: revenue was up by 30% from the year before, coming in at $47 million dollars, although it's estimated that roughly 3/4 of this went directly to record companies for royalty payments. The company has since expanded its subscriber base to about 4.2 million people, a promising start but far less than the 17 million Apple Music subscribers or the 30 million Spotify subscribers. The company achieved this largely on the back of its extensive exclusive premieres, including Beyoncé's LEMONADE, Kanye West's The Life of Pablo, and Rihanna's ANTI.
According to the report, Tidal is struggling to amass the funding required to see it through 2016. Although the board is "confident" that the company will secure enough funding, it's clear that it's not exactly in a position of strength at the moment. Tidal only employs 84 people, but pays out a huge amount of its revenue directly to record labels.
The entire music streaming industry remains a big question mark. Although Spotify has 30 million users, it also posted a net loss last year. Subscriber numbers continue to go up, but it's hard to say if the companies will be able to turn a profit. You can check out the whole report here.