What Is The Tidal Declaration?

tidal-full-text

On Monday, 16 of the biggest names in music stood on a stage in NYC and proclaimed that they are taking back their careers from tech companies. Tidal is the first ever artist (majority) owned streaming service. It was revealed by Billboard that each artist was given a 3% stake in the company. Tidal has two payment tiers: $9.99 and $19.99 (for lossless audio).

Full text of the Tidal declaration signed by Jay Z, Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West, Jack White, Arcade Fire, Daft Punk, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Calvin Harris, Alicia Keys, deadmau5, Jason Aldean, J. Cole and Madonna:

Every movement throughout history began with a few individuals banding together with a vision, a vision to change the status quo.

That vision came to life with a first step. Our first step begins today through the platform TIDAL.

TIDAL is an artist majority owned company with a mission to reestablish the value of music, the protection of the sustainability of the music industry rooted in creativity and expression.

Just as our vision is to introduce change to the current system, during the upcoming months we will continue expand this platform into an all-encompassing destination. We are working diligently everyday to enhance the overall service.

Today, the site encompasses high quality sound, video, exclusive editorial but there are more features on the way. In time, TIDAL will be not just a streaming service but a platform with enhanced experiences.

With TIDAL we are making a commitment to build a platform that reflects ideas contributed directly from artists, providing an enriched experience. Music presented and heard the way the artists intended.

We want our mission with TIDAL to spark conversation and lay a foundation for tomorrow’s burgeoning star.

Our movement is being led by a few inviting all to band together for a common cause, a movement to change the status quo…

Today marks the next step …

#TidalforAll

+What Jay Z And Tidal Need To Do To Truly Change The Music Industry

Ari Herstand is a Los Angeles based singer/songwriter and the creator of the music biz advice blog, Ari’s Take. Follow him on Twitter: @aristake

37 Responses

  1. JTVDigital

    Does anybody have the detailed shareholder structure? Could not find any detailed data, looking at publicly available data from Project Panther Limited, Project Panther Bidco Limited and S. Carter Enterprises, LLC; and the Aspiro AB website section for shareholders structure has (of course) not been updated.

    Reply
    • Jeff Robinson

      Major label artist ‘Equity Share’ perhaps?

      Hard to believe that would happen, but maybe believable. Our artists haven’t seen a dime from this service since it started and there have been active accounts streaming it/them.

      Is it legal to NOT pay royalties and/or under-report indie streams to guarantee ‘Big Artists’ their share?

      Reply
  2. kevin

    Ari,

    Any additional information about the structure? 3% stake x 16 artists is only 48%, which doesn’t constitute a majority.

    Anyone have information on the remaining 52%?

    Reply
      • kevin

        not so, james. it seems drake also has a 3% interest, and: “Each of the 16 participating artists are believed to have been gifted 3 percent equity in the company, with the remaining stakes owned by Jay Z, another investor and the record labels, according to executives familiar with Tidal’s financials.”

        also, what is sprint’s involvement?

        Reply
  3. john

    what a crock of shit, i bet their royalties will suck just as bad as the rest of em. Jay Z aint going into the red so shit can be fair for artists, thats for sure. Spotify is in the red with shit micro cent bs payments…

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      I wouldn’t be surprised If they pay more per play. Without a free service the average should be higher. But it will remain to be seen if they get people to actually sign up.

      Reply
  4. Anonymous

    “Tidal is the first ever artist (majority) owned streaming service”

    But not the last.

    What we need now is a free, ad-financed, artist-friendly, non-censored, better-paying YouTube alternative — owned and operated by the industry (not just by 16 artists) — and we need to use that service exclusively. All revenues straight back to the artists.

    Reply
  5. Sarah

    owned and operated by the industry

    Some questions for you, Anonymous. You’re such a strong proponent of this, I genuinely want to understand how you see it working.

    Okay, as the “music industry” isn’t a single legal entity that can own anything, what do you mean when you say this? Every label and/or independent artist gets to be an owner? If a new label is created they get brought into the ownership structure? Surely you can’t mean it would be operated by a single entity that is theoretically representative of the industry, because I don’t think one exists that all groups feel represented by.

    Or maybe a new entity that’s designed exclusively for this purpose would be better. But again, who actually owns it? And where’s the money coming from? Unless this money is going to be a straight-up donation (which would be hefty), you’re going to have investors of some sort and they are likely to represent a relatively incomplete picture of the industry. And as investors, they’re going to want what most investors want: a good return on their money. If there isn’t going to be an exit for them, they’ll need to get it in the form of profits, which means the platform needs to make money – not just cover its actual costs and then pass on everything to you, a portion will need to stay with the company to give back to investors as profit to recoup their investment.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      We have to think out of the box, Sarah.

      Let’s start here: Worker cooperatives, unions, non-profit organizations.

      Reply
      • Sarah

        I think I’m a very outside-of-the-box thinker. 🙂

        That’s kind of vague. If you were going to start working on making this a reality today, what would you actually do?

        Of the ones you mention, a non-profit sounds like the best option. So starting there: who owns it and who pays for it?

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          “That’s kind of vague”

          You mean, French Revolution kind of vague? 🙂 Rolling heads kind of vague?

          “So starting there”

          No, starting here: We have a billion dollar industry — do we really want to give it away?

          Reply
          • Sarah

            Well, I don’t think we should behead anyone. Rolling heads would seriously creep me out. 🙂

            But I don’t understand how you plan to get to your desired outcome. That’s what I’m asking about: I understand the “what” and “why” – the next thing to cover is “how” (assuming you want to move from “something we talk about” to “something that actually happens”).

            In all sincerity, what can you do with a statement like “we need a better-paying, artist-friendly YT alternative owned by the industry”? The absolute best you can get out of that statement, by itself, is inspiration to actually design a feasible plan, and then follow through with actions to realize it. So let’s say a bunch of people were inspired by this and decided to put together a feasible plan to make it happen – what would it start with?

          • Anonymous

            “I understand the “what” and “why””

            Perhaps, but we’re having a public discussion here. First, we have to understand the situation:

            You found a gold mine in your backyard. What are you going to do about it? Give it away?

            We can build the guillotine later. Kidding. 🙂 (Build it and they will come. Kidding again. 🙂 )

          • Sarah

            You found a gold mine in your backyard. What are you going to do about it? Give it away?

            Of course not. You want to maximize the benefits you can get from your gold mine – that’s the situation we’re in, right?

            So if we’re clear on the situation: now how do you start getting and maximizing those benefits from your gold mine? If you just sit in your house looking at it, and day-dreaming about how nice it would be to enjoy all those riches you could get from your gold mine….. you’re never going to actually get them. I’m with you on the gold-mine part; I just don’t want to stop at merely recognizing it, I want to move forward and do something good with it.

          • Anonymous

            Of course not. You want to maximize the benefits you can get from your gold mine – that’s the situation we’re in, right?

            Gold is liquidable, music is not…

            Majors have a way to take your Gold and perhaps get some cash for it, but it’s not like the Pawn Shop where theres a set fee per weight and they take a tiny slim margin, its not a precious metal, a scarce resource…

            Its sort of like building your own house, its just really hard to put it on the market and get what its worth though, and if you think about selling it yourself, you get annihilated, so good luck on that too…

            So sure you can build wealth with it, but no back cares, no one values it the same, its intangible property in a bear market that is super controlled and manipulated by the majors, so while there is certainly wealth, its not liquidable wealth and its not very tangible wealth either, valuating an intangible property such as intellectual and copyright, is really hard to figure out, and unless you are some super star, essentially worthless…

          • Anonymous

            “So if we’re clear on the situation”

            But we’re not clear on the situation, Sarah! Listen to the other Anonymous (also this thread): “Technology has afforded me the opportunity to make and release music.”

            It’s the other way around — but most artists still think like him. They’re not aware that iTunes, Spotify and YouTube would die without them.

            “I just don’t want to stop at merely recognizing it, I want to move forward and do something good with it.”

            Yes — you want a part of it. 🙂

          • Sarah

            Well, you and I are clear then. 😉

            And you can’t change everyone’s mind. Fortunately, no revolution has ever required (or had) unanimous, universal adoption and support. 🙂

          • Anonymous

            “And you can’t change everyone’s mind”

            But… how can you know? 🙂

          • Anonymous

            No, starting here: We have a billion dollar industry — do we really want to give it away?

            We??

            I’m no part of it, there is no we, there is a small controlling faction who owns the marketplace, and that doesn’t include me in any way shape or form, i in no way feel part of anything in the industry other then being a target and pinata for the 1% and 99% to have a go at it… I often feel like i’ve already been nailed to the cross and are being kicked out of town by his own people like Connor MacLeod, and the Music Industry are the Kurgan’s…

            I’m just waiting for the quickening, sadly i was never able to acquire the wealth like Russell Nash, but hey, not every real life story translates identically to the movies…

            🙂

          • Anonymous

            “i in no way feel part of anything in the industry”

            Exactly.

            Don’t you want to change that?

          • Anonymous

            Exactly.

            Don’t you want to change that?

            It’s not my place to change it, they own it it’s their industry, quite frankly i’d feel a little self deserving and servicing if i felt it was within my right to change it, therefore i really couldn’t care any less…

            I’ve realized trying to change other people through any other way then by leading by example is just pointless and not worth the effort, therefore the only change im truly interested in is that within myself, i strive for constant perpetual revolution, of the self…

            I don’t have a void within me where i need to be a part of some industry in order to feel worthy or accepted…

            The only void i have is that of family, love and wealth, the music industry can’t seem to give me any of the three anymore…

            I’d much rather 100% avoid the industry, let them do their thing, and go direct to fan, and do my thing like the Illusionist i am, sadly i don’t have the budgets to do so right now, and that’s just the way it is…

            The way their artists are presented makes me feel embarrassed for them, their award shows make me feel embarrassed for them, it’s so overly awkward, all of it is, i can’t ever see myself being a part of it anyways, other then maybe down in the trenches working on bettering audio similar to the ideas a JJP has etc. however i really burnt all my bridges with all those guys too, otherwise i’d like to do the right thing and give back to those in any way i can, but i face so much scrutiny and enemies doing that as well, so ultimately im trying to build wealth and equity that allows me to generate enough of a cash flow to the point the expenditure to push forth on my own Illusionist type adventure is worth it, and let technology be more my partner, but without the money and the health and most importantly security and people to really push that forward, it’s mostly impossible to get anywhere, as the industry then just sort of corrals you and corners you off and then you tend to lose sight of the music and the fan and it becomes this annoying awkward standoff that i always tried to avoid…

            It’s a perfect time to sidestep the industry and cultivate your own fans, unfortunately you cant get in front of enough peoples faces without the majors and their vice grip control on the markets, so it’s a tough grind no matter what you choose…

            Anyways, is what it is, i’m just happy technology has afforded me the opportunity to make and release music and im just happy the technology has allowed me to get the education and training i needed, mostly from the industry, so i have that to thank them all for that, but that still required me to do the research and take the time to educate and better myself, ultimately it all sort of fell apart anyways… The industry is like a china shop and im a bull, it’s like this wall thats there that i continually get led to by people handcuffing me, all for me to bang my head against in total frustration and exasperation…

          • Anonymous

            “technology has afforded me the opportunity to make and release music”

            Except it’s the other way around…

          • Anonymous

            “technology has afforded me the opportunity to make and release music”

            Except it’s the other way around…

            No it isn’t the other way around, not for me, not in my World, if it was the other way around i wouldn’t have said as such… Look, i’m not some towel boy water boy here begging to shine your shoes, I TELL YOU HOW IT IS IN MY WORLD, and thats the way it is, when you read my post, envision yourself sitting on my ship and the loudspeaker crackles on and you are getting a message from the Captain, you sit there attentively with your hands in your lap nodding your head as the Captain speaks, you dont visit the bridge, you dont call the shots, the crew isnt yours to order around, thats the way it is, deal with it…

            Technology has been the saving grace for me, that has afforded me the ability to make and release music, that is an irrefutable fact…

            Without the downward pressure on prices and the affordability of the computer based DAW along with self printing devices and easy to access fully accessible distribution options, i would have zero chance to make and release music, so for me, most certainly the technology has been crucial…

          • Anonymous

            “Technology has been the saving grace for me”

            No no no, you are a blessing for big tech!

            Spotify, iTunes and YouTube are worthless without you.

            They will die tomorrow if you remove your property today…

          • Anonymous

            Perhaps I was unclear in my previous post, however I’m not sure how better to say it…

            Those platforms only die if the majors take their property off, period… those platforms are not my problem, they are part of my solution, and its the music industry and major labels and their employees that have cost me so much more then any tech company…

            In my world and on my ship only I can tell you how it is, so just accept it and deal with it…

    • Anonymous

      Sarah, if Universal still owns 50+% of the music market and Vivendi owns them, then essentially yes, the industry is owned and controlled by a single entity, or at least has a majority shareholder who calls the shots when push comes to shove…

      Reply
      • Sarah

        Perhaps. But I believe in the power of the indies. They have enough music and artists and fans, collectively, to step up and do something that’s better for themselves. 🙂

        And I believe in the power of financial motivation: if Option B makes more money for participants than Option A, most businesses will start going with Option B.

        So if the indies switch to an Option B that results in greater profits than Option A, the majors will choose to follow because they will want more money. Tada! That’s how you switch up the leading business model in an industry dominated by a few major players who enjoy significant advantages in the current system that reduce their incentive to change or improve it:

        Start small with the folks who don’t like Option A, make real profits, let everyone else follow the money.

        (it’s a simple concept; it’s not at all simple to actually do, but it is absolutely achievable – and I’d argue, way more realistic than, say, pinning your future on getting federal laws changed when you’re up against powerful lobbies)

        Reply
        • Anonymous

          Perhaps. But I believe in the power of the indies. They have enough music and artists and fans, collectively, to step up and do something that’s better for themselves. 🙂

          And I believe in the power of financial motivation: if Option B makes more money for participants than Option A, most businesses will start going with Option B.

          So if the indies switch to an Option B that results in greater profits than Option A, the majors will choose to follow because they will want more money. Tada! That’s how you switch up the leading business model in an industry dominated by a few major players who enjoy significant advantages in the current system that reduce their incentive to change or improve it:

          Start small with the folks who don’t like Option A, make real profits, let everyone else follow the money.

          (it’s a simple concept; it’s not at all simple to actually do, but it is absolutely achievable – and I’d argue, way more realistic than, say, pinning your future on getting federal laws changed when you’re up against powerful lobbies)

          I appreciate your candor and passion Sarah, unfortunately it shows a total lack of understanding how things truly work…

          I wish you the best of luck, but at this point i see what you are saying as nothing more then feeding the indies what they want to hear so that they will support your business enough to cash it out…

          That being said, it takes an attitude and mindset like yours to do anything and get anywhere, so please hold onto that and retain that, i truly prefer to lift people up then have to hammer them down, so dont take what i say wrong…

          Take away the indies that are with a Major, and you lose nearly all the indies market share, they have so little market share, so little power, so few connections, so little everything, that they are just along for the ride, and thats just the way it is, in the big picture big wheel of it all…

          Ill agree They have it better then ever with the way it is allowing them to control the reins to their career and connect with their fans more directly within their budgets allowing them the possibilities of putting a living together, but with that control comes compromises, less money is often one of them…

          More then a decade in and im still yet to see many real success stories, and im still seeing majors and their artists succeed constantly…

          Reply
  6. Anonymous

    From a consumer standpoint tidal was already lost. Tech companies actually understand technology. There is more to a music service than sound quality. Spotify currently offers vastly more features and actually understand what consumers want.

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Spotify will be dead without artists, though.

      Goes for iTunes and YouTube, too.

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Assuming artists pull out. There is no evidence that is going to happen. It’s unclear how many of the 16 artists that co-own Tidal even can pull their music if they want to.

        Reply

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