The music streaming service Tidal, which was bought out by rapper Jay Z, has been relaunched and rebranded as being owned by the artists. The co-owners of the business, including Beyoncé, Kanye West, Rihanna, Madonna, Daft Punk, Nicki Minaj, Deadmau5, Calvin Harris and Alicia Keys, hosted a conference in New York. Their aim was to create a better platform for music streaming which provided high quality audio and where a greater percentage of the profits go to the artists.
It’s certainly a problem that needs addressing, recent figures from Europe show that only around 68 cents from every €9.99 monthly subscription is paid to the artists, however I think they’ve only succeeded in making things worse. My first concern is that it’s come far too late. People who are already fully dedicated to existing services such as Spotify simply have no incentive to change. Why shift from a free service to one that costs double the premium rate for essentially the same product? Figures haven’t been revealed as to how much money artists will receive from Tidal but I can’t see the difference being big enough for it to be the main selling point.
My main issue however is with the artists pushing for the change. Many of them lack musical integrity and are in the business of making money rather than making music and have given the current generation’s music a bad name. I’d rather not listen to their music at all, nevermind at slightly higher quality. If artists who made genuine, heartfelt music pushed for the change rather than some of the filthy rich, overrated and in some cases downright hateable people present at the conference, then maybe the world would take Tidal more seriously. I think Tidal is a step backwards, it is to streaming services what Google+ is to social media. I think to fight the unfair distribution of profits in the music in industry you need to fight the industry itself, or at the very least improve the pre-existing services.