Music

Jay Z and royalty-friendly Tidal are being sued for not actually paying out royalties

Posted by
Ben Scott
Published

You know Tidal. Yeah, that music streaming site that takes all your favourite hip-hop tracks, locks them away behind exclusivity forever and woe is you for daring to expect new tracks on a regular service like Spotify or Apple Music.

The music service that Jay-Z owns, which promised to pay as much as 75 percent in royalties to artists, writers and producers, has been slapped with a lawsuit from a band for not actually paying the royalties they owe at all.

The act in question, ironically named The American Dollar, claim that 116 of the band’s songs were streamed without paying back royalties that they were owed. They also claim that Tidal is warping the numbers of streams so that they can undercut the royalties that they do owe by as much as 35 percent. Ouch.

The lawsuit also says that Tidal doesn’t give out the streaming stats of its tracks to the public or even to the artists themselves, despite the fact that monthly reports were promised for artists, thus far nothing has ever been sent, according to the American band.

The legal action comes at a time where Jay-Z is apparently in serious discussion with Samsung who have expressed an interest in buying the streaming site from him, so not exactly ideal when he's already got 99 other problems...