Can Jay-Z and Beyonce save Tidal? Following a high-profile roll-out last month, the streaming music service “owned by artists” including the hip-hop power couple, has had its share of issues: They recently booted their CEO. Numbers have been disappointingly low. Even Kanye West appears to be distancing himself from the service, deleting his Tweets promoting the launch. But, according to new rumors, Beyonce and Jay-Z may have plans to try and get more listeners to sign up for the service.
Media personality and music industry insider DJ Skee said this week that his sources told him that the duo are preparing to release a collaborative album exclusively on Tidal. As Vulture points out, both Jay-Z and Beyonce have released exclusive Tidal tracks, so rumors seem plausible, but obviously, at this point, no official release dates have been announced ... Discuss
Either things at Tidal are getting desperate or Jay-Z is just an extremely dedicated business owner. An executive at the streaming service told Business Insider that Jay-Z, Jack White and several of the other artist/owners have been calling subscribers on the phone and personally thanking them for using the service. Since launching earlier this month during a high-profile ceremony with some of music’s biggest stars, Tidal has faced some mixed reviews. It also just reportedly lost its CEO.
Lily Allen, members of Mumford & Sons and Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard have publically spoken out about the streaming service, which claims to pay artists higher royalty rates than Spotify. One of the selling points for Tidal—which unlike Spotify, doesn’t offer a free tier—is that it is “artist owned.” But Marcus Mumford told The Daily Beast, “I think smaller bands should get paid more for it, too. Bigger bands have other ways of making money, so I don’t think you can complain. A band of our size shouldn’t be complaining. And when they say it’s artist-owned, it’s owned by those rich, wealthy artists.” Tidal does have at least a few fans though. The Tidal executive said one of the people Jay-Z rang up told him, “This is the best customer service call I’ve ever received!” ... Discuss
On Monday afternoon, Jay-Z and a host of other famous musicians (Kanye, Beyonce, Daft Punk, Madonna, Jack White, Chris Martin, Jason Aldean, Alicia Keys, members of Arcade Fire, Rihanna and more) introduced their new artist-owned streaming service, Tidal at a press conference in New York City. The press conference didn’t give much information that wasn’t already out there, with the group re-affirming their dedication to “re-establish the value of music” and “create a better experience for both fans and artists.”
So what sets Tidal apart from other streaming services? First and foremost, the emphasis seems to be on the artists themselves, giving them more direct control over their content. Many of the artists involved have spoken out against how free streaming services such as Spotify pay artists, and though Tidal offers a free 30-day trial, users have to pay to keep a subscription—either $9.99/month or $19.99/month—which will allow Tidal to pay artists double the standard streaming royalties. The more expensive of the two offers higher sound quality than the usual compressed format, which is apparently one of the other things that sets Tidal apart from other streaming services. It will also offer hi-def videos and “expertly curated” editorial and playlists.
A lot of high-profile musicians have expressed support for the service, but it remains to be seen whether record companies (which, as The New York Times points out, often control music distribution rights) and fans will get on board... Discuss
Want to go to the Kanye West/Jay-Z concert at the SXSW festival tonight? If you are the owner of a Samsung smart phone then you are one of the lucky few who are even eligible for tickets (no, seriously). According to Mashable, passes to the first night of the Samsung SXSW concert series will only be available through the Galaxy’s new streaming radio app Milk Music. So, how does Jay-Z expect to get into the show? We assume Kim is also not planning on attending ... Discuss
Sorry college dropouts, you’ve missed your opportunity to pay a significant amount of money to partake in an actual university course dedicated to exploring the friendship of Kanye West and Jay-Z. The University of Missouri professor behind the “Jay-Z and Kanye West” class told Consequence of Sound:
I really do think that these guys are warming up to the level of major poets, and not many people think of it in those terms. Because it’s not just on a page, but it’s video art, too. So, we looked at how those complicated the questions, and how do books about poetry help us to understand rap with Jay and Kanye at the forefront … They’re very much like painters and novelists in the 20th century, moving beyond the confines of the art form’s boundaries.
Like all good university classes, the course will undoubtedly prepare you for all future career pursuits. This is exactly the kind of educational training future employers are looking for on a resume ... Discuss
The Grammy Awards themselves may be kind of a joke at this point, but at least the ceremony’s organizers seem to understand what fans want: An all-star concert. CBS has announced that Jay-Z (who’s Magna Carta Holy Grail received several nominations, despite the fact that even he conceded it was a mediocre album) and Beyonce will join an impressive list of artists set to perform during Sunday night’s broadcast. The husband and wife duo, who will be taking the stage together, are now part of the line-up that also includes Lorde, Imagine Dragons, Willie Nelson, Daft Punk, Kendrick Lamar and a handful of others, during what has essentially become a one night, primetime mini-music festival ... Discuss