Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Jay-Z: Tidal music Streaming service is artist-owned company

Monday March 30th, 2015 witnessed history in the making as Tidal, the music streaming service that Jay-Z purchased earlier this year, broadcast a live “launch” of its product. I say “launch” because really nothing was announced, despite the hype.

The company trotted out big names in music including Daft Punk, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Chris Martin of Coldplay and more, to make a declaration that they as artists, are uniting against other streaming services and give the power back to them.

As each artist came to the center of the stage to sign a “declaration” that they’ll collaborate to create a better streaming service, Alicia Keys passionately told us that the group of artists is fighting head to head with “technology companies” as a fully artist-owned company.

She, and the others, believe that these companies have turned them into a product or commodity, instead of an artist.

It’s easy to assume that “technology companies” means the likes of Spotify, who recently lost Taylor Swift’s music due to its free streaming plan and has come under fire from other artists for low payouts.

The narrative of the event today boiled down to positioning these artists as getting a rough deal from current streaming players and that the power has somehow switched around entirely. Keys also heavily emphasized that consumers supposedly care who owns the service they get their music from, because they know that artists are hurting.

Tidal may be the only artist-owned streaming company, but what remains to be seen is if consumers really care about that, or will just go to whomever provides the best catalogue in an acceptably easy to use interface. It’s also no closer to actually telling us how it’ll be providing a solution to the problem 

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