Tidal’s secret weapon? It might be Live Nation

From The Verge:

Though its name has been nowhere around the proceedings of Tidal, Live Nation could be involved. Jay Z has deep ties within the company (Live Nation signed Jay Z to a $152 million contract and funded Roc Nation back in 2008), and he’s not the only one. Nearly every artist that owns equity in Tidal has a working relationship with Live Nation (the exception is Daft Punk, who rarely tour). Madonna signed a 10-year, $120 million contract with the company in 2007; Arcade Fire, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Usher’s last tours were promoted by the company; Nicki Minaj and Jason Aldean’s current tours are as well.

Live Nation is the largest concert promoter in the world and the way most of the artists working with Tidal make their money. While music sales may be in trouble, touring is still a lucrative endeavor, and it’s one that Live Nation — which owns or operates 158 venues in six countries, produces over 60 music festivals per year, and owns Ticketmaster — is deeply involved in. If Tidal has any aspirations to offer tickets through its service, Live Nation would have to be involved. We reached out to Live Nation to ask about its involvement with Tidal, but it declined to comment.

It’s fascinating to think that the two companies who bring the most revenue directly to musicians — Apple and Live Nation — could find themselves on opposite sides of a battle that’s about to take place in the music industry. There is little doubt that Jimmy Iovine is trying to strike the same exclusive deals with artists for its own streaming service, and probably will succeed, given Apple’s impressive cash pile and his deep industry connections.