Tidal Music Streaming Service News: Jay Z Takes To Twitter To Defend His New Company Over Criticism

By Matthew Buzzi , Updated Apr 26, 2015 08:00 PM EDT
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Last month, Jay-Z and a cadre of music stars unveiled Tidal, an (already extant) online streaming service the famous rapper and mogul purchased in an attempt to change the way artists are paid.

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Spotify and others do not give what Jay-Z and other musicians feel are fair cuts of revenues to artists, and so are positioning Tidal as a higher quality, more equitable alternative. However, doubt has been cast over project since launch due its growth (or lack thereof) and questionable worth, with some cynical criticism saying the service seems to have no appealing benefit for consumers--only Jay-Z and his already rich partners.

Tidal's new owner tweeted a series of responses to the criticisms today, addressing some of the concerns about the company's chance of success and its value. The tweet above was the precursor to the following string of statements from Jay-Z:

"Tidal is doing just fine. We have over 770,000 subs. We have been in business less than one month. The iTunes Store wasn't built in a day. It took Spotify 9 years to be successful...We are here for the long haul. Please give us a chance to grow & get better.

"There are many big companies that are spending millions on a smear campaign. We are not anti-anyone, we are pro-artist & fan. We made Tidal for fans. We have more than just music. We have video, exclusive concerts, tickets for events early, live sports! Tidal is where artists can give their fans more without the middlemen."

"Indie artists who want to work directly with us keep 100 percent of their music. 'If you don't want the CEOs all in the videos' [laugh]. Tidal pays 75 percent royalty rate to ALL artists, writers and producers - not just the founding members on stage. Rich getting richer? Equity values...YouTube $390 billion. Apple $760 billion. Spotify $8 billion. Tidal $60 million.

"My cousin just moved to Nigeria to discover new talent. Tidal is a global company. We have Tidal X - it supports artists by giving them a platform to connect with their most loyal fans. Tidal is for all. Our actions will speak louder than words. We made Tidal to bring people the best experiences and to help artists give that to their fans over and over again. We are human (even Daft Punk ha). We aren't perfect - but we are determined."

It's a fair enough sentiment from Jay-Z--the service is new, and immediate huge growth for a subscription service is not necessarily expected. But consumers seemingly haven't been given a great reason to abandon their chosen platform for what is being bandied about as a more expensive service that seems to suit artists. The noble pursuit of higher pay for the artists licensing their music is a good one, but has not yet proven to be enough reason for individual consumers. It may yet prove successful, though, and Jay-Z is just asking for some understanding and patience.

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