On Monday morning, Jay Z launched a new website, tidal.com
For people who are fans of Spotify, it is a platform which enables you to stream music at a fee, albeit a pricy one; which is rather ironic, because the hashtag accompanying its launch was #TidalForAll
Here’s the irony; with a monthly fee of USD. 19.99 per month (about KES 1,800), the accompanying hashtag should be #TidalForAllUnlessYoureBroke
Mr. Sean Carter launched the new venture yesterday with a host of A-list celebrities who included Beyoncé, Madonna, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, J Cole, Daft Punk, Usher and Calvin Harris.
Many of the artists spoke to defend the move; Calvin Harris stated that the customers will feel the difference in sound due to the inclusion of ‘Lossless sound’. Kanye and Jay Z explained that it is time for the musicians to speak out and be given creative control when it comes to how they want streaming to be done, explaining that it is a venture for the customers by the artists themselves.
However, it can be argued that these are lofty defenses behind which they are hiding the fact that they are stealing from their fans; not in the traditional sense of stealing, but through the high charges. For example, put it this way: the cost of streaming with this website will be $240 per year (KES 21,600). Additionally, the cost of a music album is $10 (KES 900) therefore that is 24 music albums in a year. Is it possible to buy 24 music albums in a year? And if it was possible, would you not buy 24 albums in a year as opposed to streaming them online? Let’s not forget that you get to own the album, and it’s not a guarantee that the whole album will be available on tidal.com.
I don’t think many music lovers would pay $20 per month to receive seemingly higher quality music, while the difference between lossless sound and the normal 320 kbps sound that we’re more familiar with is not that different. However, this will not stop the venture from being a successful one; all these co-owner artists are more conversant with the 1% elite society of the world, those who do not mind paying an arm and a leg to receive music deserving of their status. Moreover, this 1% would most likely constitute 70% of their income from this venture, so I don’t think it’s going to fail.
Cheers to Jay Z’s continued successes, but will he succeed at the expense of seemingly ‘stealing from the poor’? Sounds like a rich man’s Robin Hood.
By: Doug L Fresh
Writer and Poet; has an unhealthy obsession with Outkast, and now Jay Z.