Jay-Z’s new premium streaming service has, uh, a long way to go before it even thinks about competing with Spotify.
Tidal sees a group of mega star musicians beginning their own premium music streaming service with “high-fidelity sound”, along with other “exclusive” items which no one really asked for or wants. The entire idea is to protect the artist, which Spotify has been guilty of neglecting.
Jay-Z bought Swedish tech company Aspiro earlier this year for $56 million, who originally operated TIDAL. It boasts 25 million tracks and 75,000 music videos. ABC’s tech guru Mark Fennell says that, well, TIDAL kind of sucks, calling it “the most profoundly embarrassing circle-jerk” he’s seen.
““They’re offering marginally better audio quality (at) a hugely inflated price on an app with extremely poor functionality and added content that no one wants or will ever make use of – no, i don’t want to read your #longread on songs that inspired Usher. I just don’t.”
There is no doubt Spotify is a great service, for an amazing price. Hell, you can use the majority of features for free, though the paid service has changed my life. Spotify plain and simply doesn’t pay artists enough… They pay artists 0.007 cents PER PLAY! Doing some simple maths (which I’ll admit isn’t my strong point, thank god for iPhones) that equates to about $7 per 1,000 plays! Pretty ridiculous, right? I mean huge artists will survive without the money from Spotify, but for the little guy it’s a tough gig. I would definitely pay more money to support my favourite artists, I mean Spotify could be $30 a month and still great value.
Tidal aims to support artists more, with the whole ‘for artists, by artists’ thing going. It sounds pretty cool in theory, though I don’t really think it’s something to be too interested in at the moment. Jay-Z did say in an interview with Billboard, that they hope to explore new content and “see something we haven’t seen before”. It sounds pretty familiar to those videos that Jay was releasing around the drop of ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’, talking about how it was going to be ground-breaking and change the game. I was actually a fan of the album, but although the videos were cool it was really just another album. As much as I love certain artists like J Cole who has put himself behind the movement of his Roc Nation boss, it seems like a pretentious group of the mega rich attempting to cut out the middle man and take not just a slice of the pie, but the whole thing. I have a feeling that’s exactly what this will be – just another way for the rich to get richer.