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Jay Z vs Goliath

In a calculated move to give his music streaming service an edge over the competition, Jay Z recently removed his solo albums from Spotify and Apple Music. While some may not see the impact, with one of the biggest names in music industry executing the company’s unique strategy focusing on exclusive content, TIDAL is starting to make real waves.

As subscribers continue to rise across streaming platforms, a David vs. Goliath battle is taking shape in the form of Jay Z vs. streaming services. Has the long-term market leader already been defined, and will it be a company based in exclusivity or technology?

Currently, Spotify holds the top position with 50 million subscribers. Apple Music has just under half of that with about 24 million subscribers. In comparison, the total amount of TIDAL subscribers is unknown but it is estimated to be below 1 million, making it an easy target to count out… at first glance.

After purchasing Swedish tech company Aspiro for $56 million in 2015, Jay Z launched TIDAL as a music platform for artists created by artists. Later that year, TIDAL recorded a net loss of $28 million, and in 2016 the board concluded they had insufficient funding – suggesting the company’s role as the “David” amongst the industry giants.

Since then, Jay Z has been working diligently to increase TIDAL’s net worth. Earlier this year, Sprint paid $200 million for 1/3 of the music platform, securing a major partnership and showing the artist-owned coalition is still a fighting contender. The collaboration brings Sprint’s 45 million subscribers to the table which could propel TIDAL to surpass Apple Music and rival Spotify for subscribers.

Jay Z also continues to expand the company’s artist base to include exclusive music from today’s biggest names in rap and hip-hop, including Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Kayne West – a strategy that sets TIDAL apart from other streaming services on the market.

To many, a technology based Goliath is the sure bet in this battle for streaming supremacy. But as TIDAL’s net worth, artists and support continues to increase, ruling them out would be ill-advised.

As the story goes, Davids can beat Goliaths – and that may just be what happens here.