By Raphael Dunn | Staff Writer |
The new Jay-Z owned music streaming service “Tidal” has quickly become an afterthought after its brief appearance in the U.S. iPhone Top 20 download chart.
In short, it flopped, this could be because of how much their monthly fees cost.
Users have access to exclusive high-fidelity sound quality, HD music videos, and special playlists created by artists for $20 a month for full premium access and $10 for basic access.
Spotify offers a $4.99 unlimited ad-free streaming for college students or a $9.99 tier for premium access.
“I disagree with the price. I feel like Spotify is already pushing it for $10 a month on a college budget,” said student Vanessa Gonzales.
After its huge media push in late March by supporters who dominate the music industry, such as Beyoncé and Daft Punk, the application is virtually invisible and not even in the top 700 downloads as of two weeks ago.
Jay-Z purchased Aspiro, the company behind Tidal, for an estimated $56 million in a takeover bid despite objections from some shareholders.
Tidal’s purpose is to be the first artist-owned music streaming service that will pay 75 percent of its revenue back to its artists compared to other services such as, Spotify and Pandora who only pay back 50 percent.
“We didn’t like the direction music was going and thought maybe we could get in and strike an honest blow,” stated Jay-Z in an article from The Guardian.
The company however is owned and supported by some of the biggest and wealthiest individuals in the music industry: Madonna, Nicki Minaj, and Deadmau5, to name a few.
Jay-Z is valued at $560 million and Madonna at $800 million, which makes it puzzling as to why these artists are trying to gain pity from listeners for a larger share of revenues for their music.
“They seem very greedy,” said student Veronica Mora, “hopefully with all the money they get they can help out the poor.”
Tidal has also failed to impress fellow musicians who claim that the service will only benefit the “Madonnas and Jay-Zs” of the industry while smaller upcoming bands will not be a part of the 75 percent revenue return.
No explanation is given for this claim.
“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,” said Death Cab for Cutie lead singer Ben Gibbard in a Daily Beast interview.
“Just because Jay-Z is a famous musician he expects all of his fans to pony up 10 bucks a month? Raw insanity,” said leading music critic Bob Lefsetz.
As of April 20, Tidal’s main rivals, Spotify and Pandora, are now in the top four positions on the iPhone revenue chart.
Tidal has its work cut out for them as the music-streaming industry will gain more competitors this year with Apple and YouTube both also launching streaming platforms.
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