Tidal's Terrible Messaging and Gloomy Future

Posted by Matt Birchler
— 1 min read

Jay Z relaunches Tidal with music’s biggest artists as his co-owners - The Verge

Before today, that premium tier was the only one TIDAL offered. This morning it introduced a $9.99 service with standard definition audio, which will pay just the standard royalty rates. The double royalties only get paid on streams for customers who sign up for the $19.99 plan, which promises higher quality audio files, but is twice the cost of a typical Spotify subscription.

My biggest problem with this whole thing is that the marketing is so far off point, it’s astounding. The big push from Tidal is that they want to better compensate artists for their work. Their position is that services like Spotify and Rdio are strangling the industry and artists aren’t getting paid. This is a fair argument, and one that I can get behind. However, to then have the promotional materials be full of millionaire musicians who have all been extrememly successful despite the hardships of Spotify is ridiculous. Watch this video and tell me there is a single artist in there who is going hungry because royalties are too low. Tell me there is one person in there who can’t buy just about everything they could possibly want in the world. These aren’t starving artsts, they’re wild success stories. The video made me think these are all entitled assholes, not musicians fighting for what’s right.

And on top of this, Tidal only pays extra royalties when users are on the premium $19.99/month plan. How many people care enough about lossless audio and paying artists more to double what they’re currently paying to Spotify?