After Neil Young, Jay-Z now wants to start his own hifi-music-service, or better, restart, since Tidal already existed before, Jay-Z bought it now for $ 56 Million from the swedish firm Aspiro. There was a big live-stream event with many other known people of the industry such as Madonna, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys and Kanye West, where they all signed some sort of paper to show how serious music is to them and that they pledge to deliver a service owned by artists for artist and basically, not ripping them off like evil Spotify.
So far the facts. Now, what to do with them? Basically there is nothing wrong with the idea of a music-service, that delivers best quality for fair prices and lets the musicians have their good share. It’s actually quite a nice approach. Because with services like Spotifiy, it is questionable whether it really helps the small musicians finding an audience and financing their music or if it just helps the ones that are already on top.
But, the same question pops up with Tidal. Of course, unlike Spotify there will be no free streaming service, if you want to hear it, you will have to pay, starting with $ 10 a month for compressed and $ 20 for losless quality. So there will be more money around.
The question now is, where will this money go? What deals will be available for small musicians, not having a contract with a major label?
That would be the first thing that should have been talked about at this live-stream event. But so far, silence. And isn’t that kinda the key question if you talk about a service that helps musicians, by giving them their fair share?
So, the fact of this missing information leaves doubts, whether it is really about the music, the artists and the quality or about the pure business interests. Wich would not be a problem, if it would be honestly communicated, but like this, the idea of a pure advertising stunt comes in mind.
And it doesn’t really help to hear someone like Nicki Minaj talking about the importance of good quality music. It’s a bit like Mc Donald’s talking about how important a healthy nutrition is.
What seems a bit strange is that also musicians like Jack White and Daft Punk joined in, leaving the question, if it’s just a lack of integrity or if they really believe these so called “pledges”. But Daft Punk kinda started to sell out in the last years anyway and Jack White, well, who knows what the hell Jack White was thinking…..maybe he got drunk one night when Jay-Z accidentally was in the same nightclub and took the opportunity to make him sign a contract….
Anyway, we will see what the future brings. Based on the actual information given, it will probably not change much, but for giving the involved shareholders some more publicity and a more direct way to sell their stuff. And it leaves with the question: Is good quality music a question of money? But this is a whole other subject, which needs to be discussed another time.