Music Industry

I Bitch Some More About Jay Z and His New Tidal Streaming Service

On our last episode, I was pretty merciless in my analysis of Jay Z’s attempt to take on Rdio and Spotify with his goofy artist-friendly United Artists-like Tidal venture.  Now that 24 hours have passed, I have a few more questions for Mr. Z.

  1. We hear that Jay Z is quietly but actively courting up-and-coming artists for Tidal. Exactly who might that be?
  2. Where were the big managers for this rollout? No John Silver (Foo Fighters, Beck, QotSA, Beastie Boys, Nirvana, Sonic Youth, etc). No one from Q Prime. No one from Live Nation, either.
  3. Speaking of managers, Madonna managed by Guy Oseary. He also manages U2. Where were they?
  4. How many holes can you poke in Madonna’s defence of Tidal?
  5. If Tidal is all about protecting the rights of music and the sanctity of creating it, did Jay Z rip off a guy’s music for the Tidal trailer?
  6. Was Beyonce really wearing fur at the event? Bad, bad optics.
  7. If you were British, wouldn’t you be pissed that your subscription fee for the full-on high-res version of Tidal is 20 quid? Doing the exchange, that’s 80% more than what Canadians will pay.
  8. I’ve heard that users experience dropouts while using Tidal, especially in the evening when up to 30% of North American bandwidth is being sucked up by Netflix. How is Tidal going to handle that?
  9. I get that Tidal is great for artists–well, at least the one percenters involved as equity partners–but is it great for fans in any way? I (and others) have my doubts. See? And you can go here for more.
  10. Is Tidal really going to change the music industry? (HINT: Yes, but not in the way you might think. This is all about raising the rent on what people pay to access music and another attempt to prevent people from ever owning music outright ever again.)

Just askin’. I expect I’ll have more questions later.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38513 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “I Bitch Some More About Jay Z and His New Tidal Streaming Service

  • Watching music companies fight top artists for royalties is like watching NHL team owners fighting players; millionaires fighting over big piles of money and the fans never get anything in return.

  • I know I’m aging out of pop culture’s demographic, but exactly why does anyone need to pay for music to blast out of yet another screen? Aren’t most artists’ albums already on Youtube? Aren’t there a ton of radio apps with hundreds of radio stations from around the world pumping out music 24/7?

    There are literally dozens of options if you have an internet connection and you want free music, so why is Tidal a thing? Is it just the name-brands attached to it?


Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.