Over the past month or so, there have been many naysayers concerning Tidal, but personally I support Tidal one hundred percent. Now before I get into why I support it, let’s get into the important question: What is Tidal? It is a music streaming site originally owned by a Swedish/Norwegian company by the name of “Aspiro.” As the year of 2015 began, the company was bought by the “Project Panther Ltd”, a company owned by hip-hop mogul Jay Z. According to Business Insider, Jay Z bought Tidal for a total of 65 million dollars.
To boost the awareness of Tidal, Jay Z started a mass-marketing campaign in early March of 2015. This campaign included having several popular musicians change their social media profiles to a certain shade of blue that represents Tidal. The social medias included: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr. On March 30, 2015, Jay Z set up a press conference for Tidal. In this press conference, Jay Z revealed that he had asked certain popular musicians to co-own Tidal with him. These were the same musicians that changed their social media profiles to that specific blue color. The panel of musicians included his lovely wife Beyoncé, and his well-known good friend Kanye West. Other musicians included are: Madonna, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Arcade Fire, Usher, Calvin Harris, Chris Martin, Alicia Keys, Daft Punk, Jason Aldean, J. Cole, deadmau5, and Drake. Eric Harvey of Pitchfork praised the selection of the panel stating that, “These are the 1 percent of pop music in the world right now, these are artists who do not answer to record labels, do not answer to corporations.”
What makes Tidal different from most streaming sites is the fact that it is artist-based, which leads to the musician releasing exclusive material just for Tidal and their fans. Tidal also offers a higher quality of music which is called “High-Fidelity” (also known as Hi-Fi). High-Fidelity means people hear most of the sound with little distortion, giving a result very similar to the original. According to Jay Z via twitter, Tidal also gives back a “75% royalty rate to ALL artists, writers and producers.” The overall goal of Tidal is for musicians to get more control of their music, and more money from their music.
Though this royalty model caused an uproar, I don’t understand why. As a musician who works hard in a studio to give people quality music, why is it a bad thing for that musician to make money? The Mirror and other media outlets reported that people expressed through their tweets that they feel Tidal’s business model was another way for “the rich to get richer.”
What else are they supposed to do?
Once a person gets a certain amount of money does that mean a person can’t make any more?
Since Tidal is a streaming site, it is appropriate to compare it to its competition Spotify which is another music streaming site. Also reported on the Mirror, are people complaining about Tidal being too expensive and costing more than the $9.99 for a subscription on Spotify. If, however, someone were to go on Tidal’s website, they’ll see that it clearly gives them an option of price either: $9.99 or $19.99. The difference is that the $9.99 price doesn’t have the Hi-Fi option, but then neither does Spotify. Therefore, it’s clearly as “expensive” as Spotify. It costs an extra $10 only if the customer wants the Hi-fi quality.
Singer Lily Allen bashed Tidal on how unfair that the main 16 co-owners of Tidal, nicknamed the Tidal 16, would be making more money than other artists who sign up to the service later down the line. Allen feels as if they also should have incorporated regular musicians. To her I answer one word: BUSINESS. Jay Z is trying to relaunch Tidal, to make it successful. So yes, he’s going to find the biggest musicians because they have the biggest fan bases which is going to attract more people to sign up for a Tidal subscription.
My overall opinion on Tidal, is that I’m very supportive of it. To quote the hip-hop mogul Jay Z, “We are here for the long haul. Please give us a chance to grow & get better.”
I couldn’t agree more with him.