Saturday, June 6, 2015

Musicians Slam Jay Z And Madonna's Tidal Music Streaming Service As A Flop

Tidal press launch has been met with derision and ridicule all over the internet

A number of recording artists have come forward to speak out against Jay Z and Madonna's Tidal music streaming service. A growing backlash has emerged from the public against Tidal and musicians are now among that number. Recording artists such as 50 Cent, Noel Gallagher of Oasis, Mumford & Sons,  Lilly Allen, Death Cab Cutie, Ben Gibbard and others have slammed the company as useless and greedy. Please see the article excerpts and links below for further information.


50 Cent Explains Why Tidal Is a Flop

June 4, 2015 - Rapper 50 Cent is the latest musician to speak out against Jay Z’s $9.99-per-month artist-owned music-streaming service, Tidal. Jay Z debuted Tidal in March 2015 with a star-studded line up of superstars like Usher, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, BeyoncĂ©, Deadmau5 and many others. 50 Cent was asked his thoughts on the new over hyped music streaming service at an interview with Los Angeles radio station REAL 92.3, During the interview 50 Cent Explains

Why Tidal Is a Flop. And it makes perfect sense.

“They probably could’ve did something more exciting if they reached out, because the people you saw there don’t even own the rights to their music,” ..."So they can’t say it’s gonna come out of Tidal. It has to go everywhere.”...“Why would you actually buy Tidal to get something that would be everywhere else?” ...

Essentially, 50 Cent is saying dont pay $9.99 a month for music that will be available elsewhere for free, such as competitor music streaming service like, iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify. Death Cab for Cutie singer and one half of electronic duo The Postal Service Ben Gibbard told The Daily Beast in April: I think they totally blew it by bringing out a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and propping them up onstage and then having them all complain about not being paid. That’s why this thing is going to fail miserably. -Ben Gibbard

If anything, it seems like Tidal will drive more people back to pirated sites and torrent sites to download music for free. Up and coming EDM artists and DJs (not yet millionaires) will be the ones to suffer as a result, Will Tidal end up setting emerging artists back?

MAJOR MUSICIANS BLAST TIDAL: 'This thing is going to fail miserably'

Apr. 23, 2015, 2:18 PM 80,292 39 - Jay Z's $9.99-per-month artist-owned streaming music service, Tidal, launched last month with a star-studded presentation and the promise to “forever change the course of music history.”

Usher, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Madonna, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Arcade Fire, Beyoncé, and many others all showed up to support the world's first streaming platform owned by musicians, which will pay established musicians for playing their songs. But many notable artists who weren't on stage that day are now publicly speaking out about the ridiculous display of riches.

"I think they totally blew it by bringing out a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and propping them up onstage and then having them all complain about not being paid," Death Cab for Cutie singer Ben Gibbard said in a recent interview with The Daily Beast. "That’s why this thing is going to fail miserably." ...

Instead, Gibbard says Jay Z should have taken a different approach. "If I had been Jay Z, I would have brought out ten artists that were underground or independent and said, 'These are the people who are struggling to make a living in today’s music industry. Whereas this competitor streaming site pays this person 15 cents for X amount of streams, that same amount of streams on my site, on Tidal, will pay that artist this much.'"

Gibbard continued: "There was a wonderful opportunity squandered to highlight what this service would mean for artists who are struggling and to make a plea to people’s hearts and pocketbooks to pay a little more for this service that was going to pay these artists a more reasonable streaming rate. And they didn’t do it."

Tidal's Chief Investment Officer, Vania Schlogel, disputes the claims, telling Business Insider: "Indie artists are paid less than their major label counterparts across the board – it’s been an industry standard for years. They’re paid at 55% royalty rate, versus major label artists at 60%. We pay all artists not only at the same rate, but a higher rate – the highest in the industry at 62.5%."...

But while A-listers from Madonna to Rihanna were asked personally by Jay Z to join Tidal, many big musicians were left off the rapper's hit list, including Grammy-winning British indie rock band Mumford & Sons. The band's front man, Marcus Mumford, told The Daily Beast in a separate interview earlier this month: "We wouldn’t have joined it anyway, even if they had asked. We don’t want to be tribal." 

"We just want to play music, and I don’t want to align myself with Spotify, Beats, Tidal, or whatever," Mumford explained. "We want people to listen to our music in their most comfortable way, and if they’re not up for paying for it, I don’t really care."...

Tidal's Point Break Jay Z’s music service has new apps, concert tickets, and a lot to prove

Jay Z called me. It was just after 3PM on a Tuesday afternoon in mid-May — right after I’d attended his B-Sides concert in New York, and about a week into researching his Tidal music service. A few minutes before Jay called, I got a call from someone at Roc Nation telling me he wanted to have a chat. And I… tried to reschedule. I told Jay Z’s people I couldn’t talk right now. And then hung up.

What Jay Z didn’t know is that I was running late for a haircut. I had just come off a flight, and my hair was looking rough. It was time to make a life decision: talk to Jay Z — rap legend, musical icon, one half of the closest thing we have to an American Royal Family — and look busted, or get a fresh cut and risk passing up a conversation with Shawn Carter himself.

You don’t know how fast you can find a contact in your phone until it really matters. "Jay Z sounds just like you would expect Jay Z to sound" I called Roc Nation back, asked them to ignore my initial display of insanity, and eventually found myself discussing Tidal with Jay Z.

Jay Z sounds just like you would expect Jay Z to sound: relaxed, confident, and contemplative — his words don’t feel calculated, but they’re also not off the cuff. Then there’s his laugh — that infamous, full-throated laugh. When we touch on a topic he’s passionate about, like Tidal, he comes to life, expounding on the subject.

Jay wouldn’t go on the record when we spoke, insisting that my story was about Tidal, not about him. And in a sense he’s right. This story is about Tidal: its rocky launch and its perhaps quixotic attempt at charting a new path in an industry undergoing massive change. But it’s also about Jay Z, one of music’s most entrepreneurial spirits, trying to resolve the inherent tension between technology and music...

Schlogel admits that the launch — internally referred to as "the 30th" — could have been handled better. When I asked her if she would do it again the same way, she just says "no."

"I just did not anticipate that within 48 hours people would jump in so quickly and tell this story for us as if it’s gospel. That was so fast." The plan had been to launch with the mission statement and then launch each new feature individually with some fanfare, but Tidal hadn’t counted on the speed of internet judgment.

"We weren’t even given a month of our own actions to tell the story," Schlogel says, somewhat pensively. "Had we known at the time — had I known at the time — yeah, we would have filled that void more with our own words and then backed it up with actions. But at the time, we just thought, okay we’re going to back it up with action and that would be enough."

Launch disaster aside, Tidal pushed forward, introducing a trio of features over the course of April. Tidal X, a concert series and live-streaming platform that showcases established artists to subscribers, was announced on April 10th. Jack White, J. Cole, and Jay Z have all held concerts under the Tidal X banner, the last of which was viewed over 100,000 times during the live stream. Not huge numbers, but Tidal insists it’s beating expectations. But it’s Tidal Discovery and Rising that hint most directly at the company’s ultimate ambitions...