Some of the biggest and most famous music stars have teamed up to bring to the public a music streaming service–but unlike Spotify or Rdio, TIDAL will give artists the compensation they deserve.
TIDAL’s biggest selling point is that, according to Jay-Z (who recently bought and now manages the company), more money will be given to the artists per stream. “People are not respecting the music, and [are] devaluing it and devaluing what it really means,” Jay-Z in an interview with Billboard. “People really feel like music is free, but will pay $6 for water.”
As of right now, Spotify offers artists an average of $.005 per play, with iTunes only giving a small amount more, at $.14 per download. On these platforms, the distributing company (Spotify and Apple) makes about 30% of the total cash per play or download. If the song is purchased with iTunes, the artist only receives 8% of the money. According to Mirror, it would take about 33 Spotify streams of one song to match the price of the song on iTunes.
One of the biggest areas of controversy is the cost; it’s $9.99 for TIDAL streaming in regular quality, and a much heftier $19.99 for “high-fidelity” sound. The justification is that although it costs more, a lot of the money is going directly back to the artists instead of big-brand corporations only paying artists mere cents per stream.
However, it is notable that the artists getting the payoff are already quite successful. At the company’s first press conference in April, Arcade Fire, Beyoncé, Calvin Harris, Coldplay, Daft Punk, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna and Usher revealed they all had equity in the company. So far, the site is made up of primarily big name musicians, arguably only making the elite that much more so.
Jay-Z thinks differently. “We’re saying that we’re in a position to bring light to this issue. We’re using our power that way,” Jay Z told the audience in New York. He believes proper coverage of the inequality and unfairness of revenue distribution in the music industry will be highlighted by the creation of TIDAL and will, in the long run, help up-and-coming artists receive the money they work so hard for.
TIDAL subscriptions can be purchased on the website or in the app store.