Similar to Pandora and Spotify, Rapper Jay-Z launched Tidal; the first music streaming service connecting artists with their fans through high fidelity sound, music videos and expertly curated editorials. The music mogul vision behind Tidal is said to be “…the first artist-owned music streaming platform that would pay 75% of its revenues back to the music industry compared with the 50% paid by Spotify and Pandora”.
Jay Z said: “We didn’t like the direction music was going and thought maybe we could get in and strike an honest blow and if the very least we did was make people wake up and try to improve the free paid system, and promote fair trade, then it would be a win for us anyway.”
Bob Lefsetz, the leading music critic and industry analyst said: “Why was Spotify successful? Because of the deep pockets of the owners, who were willing to lose on the way to winning. Beats Music did not have these deep pockets, and Tidal certainly does not. Unless the artists are all willing to kick in double-digit millions, out of their fortunes, to turn the tide.”
“First and foremost you’ve got to pay for Tidal. And therefore it’s dead on arrival. Just like Apple’s new music service. Because people are cheap. They love their money more than their favourite artists, never forget it. Now if Tidal had a free tier … But it doesn’t. It can’t afford to lose that much money. Just because Jay Z is a famous musician he expects all of his fans to pony up 10 bucks a month? Raw insanity.”
Hannah Ellis-Petersen is the Guardian’s culture reporter. Follow her @HannahEP
*photo credit: Jaime McCarthy, TheGuardian.com, Tidal.com