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Sony not pulling Beyonce off Tidal

By | Published on Monday 1 June 2015


While it would be highly amusing if Sony Music did pull tracks by some of Tidal’s celebrity ‘shareholders’ off the streaming platform – and you’d think that would be reason enough for Sony HQ to do it – the major’s catalogue is staying put. For the time being at least.

This is only news because of speculation late last week that Sony tracks – including the oeuvre of Jay-Z’s missus and fellow Tidal shareholder Beyonce – could be taken off the streaming platform because Sony Music is yet to sign a licensing deal with the new look Tidal company, which is now led by J-Zed of course.

When streaming services change ownership they customarily need to renegotiate their deals with the music rights owners. Word has it that Universal quickly signed up to Jay-Z’s ‘artist-led’ Tidal, but that Warner and Sony instead got about driving a suitably hard bargain. As of last week it seems that Warner has now inked a deal, but Sony is still negotiating.

In a somewhat critical article about the all new Tidal, Bloomberg suggested that the streaming firm was now busy trying to raise new finance to cover the majors’ big advance demands, because – said the newswire – a mooted investment by American tel-co Sprint hadn’t come off. Without that funding in place, the logic went, a Sony deal was going to be tricky to secure, which could mean no more Beyonce tunes for Team Tidal because the major controls the singer’s repertoire.

But not so, said Sony Music top man Doug Morris this weekend. What the fools at Bloomberg forgot is that Morris and Zed are bessy mates, and there’ll be no fallings out here. The Sony boss said in a statement: “Jay-Z is a friend and business associate for many years. I have always admired his business acumen, his entrepreneurship and his passion for music. All of our content, including Beyoncs, is available through the Tidal service, and we have announced no plans to remove our catalogue from Tidal. Like all of our other partners, we are rooting for Jay and Tidal to succeed”.

So there you go. But shall we all just pretend Beyonce has been pulled from Tidal anyway? Because that’s funnier. And it shouldn’t be difficult to pretend such a thing. I mean, none of you are actually using Tidal, right?