Amazon Takes Direct Aim At Jay-Z’s Tidal

By CultureBanx Team

  • Amazon Music plans to offer a high fidelity music streaming service

  • Tidal has the most preeminent hi-def music streaming offering

Hip hop icon Jay Z’s Tidal company may be caught in Amazon’s (AMZN +2.54%) cross hairs, as they look to dive deeper into the music streaming business. The e-commerce company recently launched its fully free version of Amazon Music and now Music Business Worldwide claims they want to offer a high fidelity service, which has been Tidal’s claim to fame. In a streaming industry that Goldman Sachs forecasts will reach $80 billion by 2030, does Tidal have enough in its arsenal to fend off Amazon?

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Why This Matters: Right now the artist owned platform Tidal has the most preeminent hi-def music streaming offering with its Hi-FI subscription tier that costs $19.99 per month. Amazon wants to slide in and of course take over this space with the launch of a high fidelity music streaming platform tier that will likely be in the $15 per month range, according to the publication. One bright spot could be Tidal’s music catalog that currently has 56 million songs, compared to just 50 million songs for Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers.

One bright spot could be Tidal’s music catalog that currently has 56 million songs, compared to just 50 million songs for Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers

Tidal hasn’t recently released its paid subscriber number, but as of 2016 the company touted three million users. This number has been highly disputed and estimated to be closer to one million. Last year, Amazon which doesn’t separate out its Prime Music subscribers, since its automatically bundled with all Prime memberships, reportedly had 20 million music subscribers across both Unlimited and Prime.

Situational Awareness: Even with Tidal’s exclusive music offerings and its $200 million investment from Sprint (S -1.25%), it still doesn’t seem to be enough to keep the ship afloat. The streaming platforms financial struggles have been going on for years, in 2014 they lost $10.4 million, $28 million in 2015 and then nearly $44 million in 2016. With Amazon entering the picture things are likely to become even more challenging because in addition to offering exactly what Tidal has they can further incentivize subscribers with a prime membership. Amazon’s Tidal killer is expected to launch before the end of 2019.

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