The financial health of TIDAL has remained a mystery since Jay Z acquired the company as part of a consortium for $56m last year.
But now we have a window into the operating status of the platform… and for those who follow the music streaming business, it’s a familiar story.
According to a filing recently posted with Sweden’s Companies House (Bolagsverket), Aspiro AB – TIDAL’s holding company which was purchased by Jay Z’s Project Panther Bidco last March – posted a net loss of 239m SEK ($28m) in the calendar year 2015.
Working out at approximately $2.3m per month, the figure was more than double the 88.9m SEK ($10.5m) net loss it recorded the year before.
Other details revealed in the filing, uncovered by the Wall Street Journal, included Aspiro’s revenue, which jumped 30% to 402m SEK ($47m), from 309m SEK ($36m) in 2014.
For comparison’s sake, Spotify posted revenues in excess of $2bn in 2015 – more than 42 times that of Aspiro – and a net loss of $194m.
Rhapsody, with 3.5m paying subscribers, turned over $202m last year, more than four times that of Aspiro.
Aspiro appears to have paid just under 300m SEK ($35m) in royalties to music rightsholders in the year – eating up the vast majority of its revenue.
Spotify’s payouts to the music industry last year (categorised as ‘royalty, distribution and other costs’) reached $1.83bn.
Jay Z’s arrival certainly had an impact on TIDAL’s expenditure.
Aspiro splashed 218m SEK ($26m) on ‘other costs’ – presumably including marketing – in the 12 months, up 182% on the 77.2m SEK ($9m) spent on the category in 2014.
Aspiro AB finished 2015 with 35.4m SEK ($4m) in the bank, almost half the 63.5m SEK ($7.5m) it retained at the close of the prior year.
Although Aspiro admitted it lacked funding for 2016, it said in the filing: “The board believes the company will be able to secure new financing.”