Former Rhapsody exec Jon Maples has been poking around Tidal’s figures, and he thinks that coverage of the company’s $28m loss in 2015 may have missed a bigger story.

Maples thinks Tidal may have a user-churn problem, based on its $43m of revenues last year. “Rhapsody banks $57 per sub per year and Spotify is an impressive $87,” wrote Maples on his own site.

“Tidal didn’t announce year end subs, but in March it said it had 3 million, so let’s just say they had 2.5 million at year’s end, for a total of $17 per subscriber.”

Or even if you go with the million-subscriber milestone reported in October 2015: “Tidal is still generating half the revenue per sub of Spotify and a 25 percent less than Rhapsody, a company with a significant base of lower-revenue bundled subscribers.”

Maples’ theory is that Tidal is getting lots of people to sign up for exclusives, but that “the minute the exclusive is over, those subscribers leave. In droves… let’s not pay attention to how many subscribers TIDAL adds. It’s all about how many it retains.”

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