Last month, Beyonce, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West and a handful of many other powerful artists came together to launch Jay Z’s brand new app called Tidal. Tidal is a music and video streaming app, similar to the likes of Spotify and Rdio. However, unlike competing streaming companies, the $56 Million investment was created for the likes of artists. According to Jay Z, “the service pays “75% royalty rate to ALL artists, writers and producers”, allowing artists to create and promote their work freely. The subscription only service provides users with high fidelity/quality music and video streaming along with special releases at the price of $20/month. Twice as much as a premium membership on Pandora or Spotify.
Since it’s March launch, Tidal has been facing a wave of bad press. Critics have credited the “for-us, buy-us” app as another way for artists to make money. Critics predict that the application will be unsuccessful due to the lack of free-streaming and support by competitors such as Apple. “[People] love their money more than their favorite artists, never forget it,” music industry analyst Bob Lefsetz explains. “Sure, if you loaded Tidal with exclusive content it would be attractive. But the iTunes Store wouldn’t promote your new release.” he continued. Currently, the app has been proclaimed a flop based on it’s current position in Apple’s App Store. However, amongst the bad press and unimpressive launch, HOV is standing by the service. On Sunday, he took to Twitter to defend Tidal using the hashtag #TidalFacts.
So is Tidal worth it? Since the app launched in March, I’ve been enjoying my FREE one-month trial. Excited over the star power involved with the launch, I quickly started exploring the “high-fidelity” application. The user friendly music/video streaming app has provided me with the likes of music from basically every artist that my friends and I enjoy. Not only does the Tidal offer full albums both in standard and deluxe but it also offers mixtapes, an essential to fans who have been following these artists from the jump. Being a fan of music videos, having both my favorite artists’ music collection and the corresponding videos is a plus! One of things that makes Tidal different from other applications is the exclusive releases. Since March, Beyonce released the exclusive video “Die With You”, Rihanna released the anticipated “American Oxygen” video and Madonna released behind the scenes footage from her chilling music video “Ghosttown”. Amongst exclusive releases comes interviews such as the informative piece with Roc Nation’s newest signee Vic Mensa and professional boxer Andre Ward. It is rumored that Beyonce and Jay Z’s anticipated collaboration album will be released on Tidal and just today, Jay Z announced a rare B-side concert exclusive for Tidal users. While the exclusive releases are awesome, there is no tipping point. Nothing about Tidal makes it exclusive enough for users of competitive apps to sign-off and sign-up for the new app. One of the questions that I keep receiving relates to the “high fidelity” sounds of the music. Honestly, I hear no difference nor do I have the best headphones which might be the reason behind that. Overall, Tidal is a generally new application that has the potential to grow into a successful brand of its own. Amongst the shift in album-sales and music streaming, it was a great move for Jay Z’s empire. However for the price of $20/month, I don’t think a few exclusive releases that can ultimately be found online will convince fans to log off of other streaming applications to use Tidal. As much as I love artists and their music, I cannot support a millionaire before supporting myself! I’m looking forward to watching Tidal grow and seeing if it becomes the essential music streaming tool amongst the current shift in the music industry! As of now, my one-month trial is finished on May 5th and I don’t plan on upgrading my membership!
TIDAL | #TIDALforALL