Jay Z Says TIDAL Is the Victim of a Multi-Million Dollar ‘Smear Campaign’

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

66 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Well well, they’re trying — so I took a look at their site.

    Unfortunately, it’s worthless for artists:

    Users are not only allowed to stream, but to download your songs! So there’s no need to buy them. 🙁 In other words, it’s just like Music Key.

    Reply
    • There is something...

      When will stupid people like you understand that you can listen offline only as long as you pay your monthly subscription ?

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        Not sure what you mean. Again, you obviously don’t buy a song if you already got it.

        So Tidal is indeed useless for artists.

        The last thing we need is a service that prevents fans from buying music.

        Reply
        • There is something...

          You really don’t understand…

          You can only listen to songs you downloaded as long as you’re subscription to the service is active. So you are paying every month to keep the right to listen to that song. It’s exactly the same as streaming, except it allows you to listen when you’re offline. If you want to own the song and be able to listen to it event if you cancel your subscription, you’ll need to buy it.

          Seems very simple to me, don’t understand why people can’t get it…

          Reply
          • Anonymous

            “except it allows you to listen when you’re offline”

            Which means you don’t have to buy it.

            That’s why Tidal is useless for artists.

          • There is something...

            Did you miss the part where I said “as long as you pay for it” ?

            Are you THAT stupid ?

            By the way, all streaming service work the same… At least the biggest one. You should stop speaking about a business you don’t event understand.

          • Anonymous

            Bottom line:

            Tidal users can not only stream, but download your songs! So there’s no need to buy them anymore.

            And that’s why Tidal is useless (at best) for artists.

          • Anonymous

            If you download 100 songs in January, and stop paying in February, you won’t have those songs anymore. So you’re not truly downloading them.

          • Anonymous

            “If you download 100 songs”

            …then I won’t buy them. Period.

            “and stop paying in February”

            Why would I want to do that?

            So far, Tidal has convinced 770,000 music lovers that they should stop buying music.

            Which makes the service as worthless as the Pirate Bay.

          • Anonymous

            I dunno, plenty of reasons. Someone doesn’t like the service, someone needs to cut costs and save money, someone doesn’t use it as much as they thought they would, etc. You think everyone just spends money on everything in perpetuity? Weird.

            I’m not even disagreeing with you really, just pointing out your seeming complete lack of a basic understanding. Yes, songs can be stored locally, but they are not “downloaded” in the sense that you’re saying. Because they will disappear if you stop paying.

          • Anonymous

            “songs can be stored locally, but they are not “downloaded” in the sense that you’re saying”

            Yes, that’s exactly what they are.

            In Tidal’s own words:

            “you can download content of your choosing to your device, and play it”

            That’s why Tidal users don’t have any reason to buy music anymore!

            And that’s why Tidal is worthless for artists.

          • Anonymous

            Jesus christ man, please tell me you aren’t really this retarded. Anything you download from Tidal will disappear the second you stop paying your monthly fee. So yes, while you’re a subscriber, sure, you have no reason to buy a DL. But if you stop paying, it will disappear. You can’t join Tidal, download 1000 songs, then quit and still have all those songs.

          • Anonymous

            “while you’re a subscriber, sure, you have no reason to buy a DL

            Exactly.

            And we’re talking about 770,000 subscribers here — so far.

          • There is something...

            770’000 willing to pay up to 19$ for music EVERY MONTH !
            I don’t think anybody drops as much on iTunes…

          • Anonymous

            “770’000 willing to pay up to 19$ for music EVERY MONTH”

            Exactly — they love music!

            But they don’t buy it anymore.

            Thanks, Tidal. 🙁

          • GGG

            I think you mean thanks $20 CDs for pricing out consumers, thanks Napster for letting people get music for free, thanks technology for allowing mediocrity to flourish, thanks online distributors for giving everyone with $20 a way to get on iTunes, thanks social media for clogging our lives with endless self-promotion, thanks major labels for perpetually investing in soulless husks of superficiality, etc etc etc then thanks Tidal/streaming.

          • Anonymous

            Nah, CDs were nice, technology is great and social media’s beyond awesome.

            But Tidal is a mistake.

            I wasn’t surprised to see the evil 🙁 Google twins 🙁 destroy YouTube and turn Music Key downloads into a major selling point. But Tidal is owned by artists!

            Why the fuck don’t they want musicians to sell music anymore?

          • Name2

            Anyone who “downloads” on one of these services has to “phone home” to the mothership at least every 30 days.

            The mothership checks for offline streams played. The appropriate parties get paid. So I can either buy a CD and pay once; or “offline” it, keep paying Tidal, listen a thousand times, and Tidal pays the appropriate people for all those on-demand spins.

            Hate to resort to ad hominem, but you are pretty fucking stupid.

          • Anonymous

            “Anyone who “downloads” on one of these services”

            Why the quotations marks?

            Here’s what Tidal says: You can download content of your choosing to your device, and play it.

            And this is what you don’t understand:

            Tidal is not a streaming service. Tidal is a record store. Here’s how it works:

            Buy everything you want for $10/month — and don’t ever use iTunes again!

            “The appropriate parties get paid”

            A cent per download.

            That’s 1/70 of what you get from iTunes for the same song.

          • MP

            How hard it is to understand the difference between downloading some music from a streaming service for listening offline for a limited time and buying music from iTunes and having the files at your disposal forever?

            Stop trolling.

          • Anonymous

            MP, I get it. This sounds like an awesome deal to you:

            You can buy all the music — and videos — you want for $10/month!

            But you know what they say; if it sounds too good to be true…

            And you just have to understand that an artist can’t sell a song for a cent.

          • Name2

            “Anyone who “downloads” on one of these services”
            Why the quotations marks?

            Because these services tend to use the word “offline”, while “download” has a very specific (and different) business meaning which does not describe “offlining” as its understood by plenty of subscribers to Tidal, Rhapsody, Spotify, etc. You insist on the word ‘download’. I do not think you know what it means in this context.

            Tidal is not a streaming service. Tidal is a record store. Here’s how it works:

            Buy everything you want for $10/month — and don’t ever use iTunes again!

            I don’t use itunes NOW. The sound is shitty, the software ecosystem is painful, and their lossless format is proprietary and requires hand conversion. As a music store, itunes sucks. Has for years. Everybody knows it.


            That’s 1/70 of what you get from iTunes for the same song.

            I buy what I buy, from whom I CHOOSE to buy, and I stream what I stream.

            And if you don’t like it, you can put it where the monkey keeps the nuts.

          • Anonymous

            “Because these services tend to use the word “offline”, while “download” has a very specific (and different) business meaning”

            Yes, “download” really does have a very specific business meaning, doesn’t it?

            And that’s why, my friend, it’s so interesting that Tidal is using that particular term. Not even YouTube Music Key is stupid enough to do that.

            Tidal says, and I quote from their own site: “you can download content of your choosing to your device, and play it”

            “I don’t use itunes NOW. The sound is shitty”

            Let me tell you what’s shitty: You are! As in, full of it.

            It has been proven in double blind tests that nobody can tell the difference between current iTunes quality and 16/44.1. And very few can tell the difference between 16/44.1 and 24/96. The only reason artists/producers use 24/96, or better, is the fact that you can manipulate the audio in ways that are impossible with CD quality. But it’s not relevant to consumers.

            So here’s what I would do if were you instead of talking shit about iTunes:

            Buy a decent set of speakers or headphones.

            Makes all the difference!

          • Name2

            It has been proven in double blind tests that nobody can tell the difference between current iTunes quality and 16/44.1.

            Of course it has, dear.

  2. Tcooke

    Clearly the broke artists with no relevancy can’t do this, so go get it hov. Shouldn’t artists be supporting this site, giving them exclusivity? I’v changed my tune, c major.

    Reply
  3. Edward Jennings

    So who “might” those big companies be?

    1. Direct competitors? – Spotify, Deezer, Pandora or even….Apple?

    2. Record conglomerates? – SONY, Warner Music, Universal who are equity stakeholders in Spotify…

    3. Investors in Spotify, Goldman Sachs, others protecting Spotify

    BGR broke the Apple Annie story. Pinnacle Media, Variety Magazine etc.

    Definitely West Coast thugging going on against TIDAL HiFi. I am loving the fear and trepidation a global artist owned platform that pays a much higher royalty rate is causing the streaming czars. #TIDALforALL

    By the way the exclusive Jack White acoustic concert from Fargo, North Dakota was very cool to hear and see. 🙂

    Reply
    • Skosh

      Regarding “pays a much higher royalty rate” – do we actually have any validation of that. I don’t even remember seeing this claimed, much less proven.

      Reply
      • Edward Jennings

        For those too lazy to conduct a Google search…

        (Wed., April 1) Jay-Z and Tidal exec Vania Shlogel sat for a Q+A with students at the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. Moderated by NYU professor Errol Kolosine, the rapper and the businesswoman answered questions regarding Tidal’s revenue sharing plan, competing with Spotify and much more. Below are a few clips from the session and the full transcript can be read via FADER.

        http://www.thefader.com/2015/04/01/the-full-transcript-of-jay-zs-qa-at-the-clive-davis-institute-of-recorded-music

        How will Tidal change the industry with regards to artists’ bottom line? Spotify has received much criticism for the portion of revenue that the artists receive through their music being streamed there. Is Tidal a direct response to this criticism?

        JAY Z: Not a direct response. You don’t want to single anyone out, per se — but currently we pay the highest royalty percentage. And there is no free tier service. If you have five people paying for music, and ten people consuming it, then the artist starts at -5. We start at 1. There is no free tier and we’ll pay the highest royalty percentage. That’s how we’ll change the industry…

        Reply
    • Paul Resnikoff
      Paul Resnikoff

      From the vantage point of someone that gets pitched, cajoled and subtly nudged non-stop, I didn’t see any evidence of any ‘smear campaign’

      Reply
      • Anonymous

        “I didn’t see any evidence of any ‘smear campaign’”

        Guess, you missed GGG’s comments. 🙂

        Reply
        • GGG

          I’d be quite flattered if a few of my comments constituted a smear campaign by Jay-Z haha.

          Reply
          • steveh

            You are worthy of the highest praise, sir.

            Your mercilless commenting has now brought the mighty Jay Z to his knees. He is now reduced to channeling his inner Daniel Ek.

          • Anonymous

            “He is now reduced to channeling his inner Daniel Ek.”

            Yeah, the likeness is uncanny.

      • Edward Jennings

        The smear campaign I readily see is the “prejudice” aimed at TIDAL HiFi. Prejudice = Fear+Ignorance. The various so called, “informed sources” who have been writing prematurely about TIDAL being a failure are no different from those who waste their Web ink predicting that this music app or that music platform is the Spotify “Killer” Never have so many uneducated music journalists been so wrong about Spotify’s resiliency and growth.

        TIDAL HiFi relaunched in North America is not even 30 days old. I am not seeing much qualitative and quantitative analysis being written about TIDAL HiFi’s business model. Quite frankly its too early for preliminary sales data.

        I’d have to agree with Jay-Z that subterfuge is being pushed. If you scratch the surface of the BGR.com article about the falloff in Apple iOS downloads you can readily see a “negative” publicity campaign. I cross-referenced BGR’s family of publications and Variety stood out like a sore thumb to me.

        Paul I think you are blind to the level of contribution to the smear campaign DMN perpetuates. Perhaps I had the wrong expectation that your Web site would be a “reliable” source of responsible music news reporting.

        I found it quite revealing when Billboard Magazine interviewed Jay-Z prior to the relaunch when they asked Jay-Z about Jimmy Iovine. “Jay Z on Competing With Jimmy Iovine: ‘I Don’t Have To Lose…For You Guys To Win” and I quote:

        Jay Z said, “My thing with Jimmy is, ‘Listen Jimmy, you’re Jimmy Iovine and you’re Apple and truthfully, you’re great. You guys are going to do great things with Beats, but you guys don’t have to…you know, I don’t have to lose in order for you guys to win and let’s just remember that.’ Again, I’m not angry, I actually told him, ‘Yo, you should be helping me. This is for the artists, these are people that you supported your whole life. You know, this is good.'”

        As for why Iovine might be looking to outbid Tidal’s offers, Jay Z posited, “I think that’s just his competitive nature and I don’t know if he’s looking at the bigger picture: that is not about me and it’s not about him; it’s about the future of the music business.”

        “I don’t have to lose in order for you guys to win and lets remember that” To me that is a key statement and could “possibly” point to Apple Music undermining TIDAL HiFi. Purely speculation on my part but its not unheard of for business tycoons to sink each other’s battleships. What I’d like to know is what did Jimmy Iovine say both before and then in response to Jay-Z’s conversation revealed.

        The battle for control of the music streaming market is fascinating to observe and perceive from the sidelines.

        If Digital Music News or Hypebot wanted to take the leadership role on music streaming industry direction they could arrange a conference or discussion debate with all the heads of streaming, Apple, Spotify, TIDAL Hi Fi, Deezer, and Pandora to name the most notable. Present them with a well thought out list of questions, analysis and open that up as a Webinar.

        Reply
        • steveh

          Before your proposed streaming symposium surely we should wait until Apple is up and running, so we can get the measure of it.

          Your loyal support for Tidal is admirable, but would you not agree that their launch was an unmitigated PR catastrophe?

          As far “it’s for the artists” is concerned, have any artists actually been paid yet by Tidal?

          And to tell the truth, unless their subscriber number rises substantially I’m not sure many arists will be paid by Tidal.

          It would nice if I was wrong, but for now all I see with Tidal is one huge obnoxious hypocritical vanity project.

          Reply
          • Edward Jennings

            Actually their product launch in NYC I understood. Alicia Keys was the right choice as spokesperson. She is leading the Grammys Creator Alliance. The Declaration of Independence I fully understood. Symbolic and necessary.

            I don’t think you’re allowing yourself to see beyond the celebrities.

            TIDAL manages their payment schedule. who knows if its 30/60/90 days. I’d love to see a side by side comparison by artist, Spotify payout in one column and TIDAL in the other.

          • steveh

            Did anyone see beyond the celebrities?

            That’s why it was such a flop…

  4. Remi Swierczek

    Wrong business model converting, after extremely tedious acquisition effort, one dollar in music to 10¢ in subs!

    Reply
  5. steveh

    Please enlighten me. Is Jay Z inviting indie artists to bypass their aggregator/distributor and sign direct with Tidal? Or are the aggregators putting their full content on Tidal?

    Confusing…

    Reply
    • Tcooke

      Steve, I asked the same thing. I am hoping someone will answer with implicity or broad conjecture.

      Reply
      • anon

        i know tunecore already gives you the option of distributing to aspiro, so i’m thinking this is an invitation to bands that aren’t on aggregators, more like a bandcamp model but streaming instead of sales (although bandcamp pays out 85-90 percent and supposedly tidal will pay out 75). it will be an in addition to rather than an instead of i think.

        Reply
        • steveh

          Ah yes – I’ve been a bit dim. Aspiro = Tidal….. I see Orchard delivery to Aspiro.

          Reply
      • Edward Jennings

        You’re waiting on the wrong Web site for that type of integrity of response, fwiw

        Reply
  6. Jorge Brea - Symphonic Distribution

    TIDAL wasn’t really launched a month ago. I remember simply because the addendum I signed. So technically, 770k subscribers since 2014, not a month ago. (Aspiro first launched the Tidal brand in the UK, the US, and Canada on October 28, 2014.) Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tidal_%28service%29. #TIDALfacts

    Reply
  7. anon

    the shit abt his cousin moving to nigeria reminds me of when in the movie the scout the main character is sent to guatamala to scout for the yankees and observes a game where a goat plays third base.

    Reply
  8. There is something...

    The problem with Tidal is I get no incentive to use them.

    I’m not going to pay 2x the Spotify price for their HiFi BS and a couple of Jay Z “exclusives”. It makes absolute no sense !

    Reply
  9. Andre

    multi-million dollar smear campaign?

    So you’re telling me I’ve been ridiculing Tidal for FREE when I could’ve gotten PAID to do so??!!

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      Exactly.

      Shooting fish in a barrel.

      Publicly churning your staff immediately after that nightmare also says more about the company than the people criticizing it. I hope they hired a couple dozen “no men” this time around.

      Reply
    • Anonymous

      “I took a shit on Tidal’s launch and it cost me nothing!”

      🙂

      Reply
  10. Anonymous

    770,000 subs… Except they started with what… half a million? And any additional subs would likely still be on trial.

    Reply
  11. Phill

    Ok, so let’s be honest, Jay Z doesn’t really care about fans, music or artists, he cares about money and the fact is that a few months ago he saw his friend Dr. Dre cash in more then anyone else in the music industry by selling Beats to apple and now Jay Z wants a piece. I’m thinking he’s looking at the major players and saying Apple’s got beats, Google’s got keys, and I’ve got a relationship with Samsung who is trying to separate themselves from Android! Whether TIDEL is doing good or bad also doesn’t matter because those tweets from Jay Z are not for the fans, they’re for the investors, all he has to do is ride the wave (pun intended) until the exit plan…the sale.

    Reply
  12. Ralph

    Why does he keep making statements like he built any thing or grew any thing? He’s worse than a politician with this propaganda. Relying on people’s stupidity that they won’t realize or remember that he bought an existing company. Shameful.

    Reply
    • Edward Jennings

      Yet another naive statement about one of today’s most influential business entrepreneurs who is executing a revolutionary, strategic vision. He and others are rearchitecting TIDAL HiFi. Not too dissimilar from when Beats bought MOG. Then Apple buys Beats/MOG and integrates it into Apple Music.

      This is Music Big Data, PAAS, Platform as a Service. I’m working on a technical architecture matrix comparison of Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, TIDAL HiFi and Apple Music (iOS 8.4).Much of the information I seek remains “unpublished” about these competitive, open and “proprietary” platforms.

      Reply
      • Ralph

        Edward, its EXTREMELY different than Beats buying MOG. Beats completely rebuilt and rebranded MOG to where there was no signs of it left. It was completely removed like it never existed. So yes, Beats does get to say they launched and built a music service. Jay on the other hand came in, fired some folks, added some content, and wants to go around claiming he launched something or built something.

        And you use the word “influential” like it has any relation to the word “successful.” Jay Z hasn’t accomplished any thing at the moment except taking advantage of ignorance and letting business men use his artistic talent and charisma to make money. Jay took advantage of hip hop fans’ when he continued to rap about selling drugs even 25 years after he ever went near it. He could have instead been inspiring young people to do positive things. Instead he encouraged them to be frivolous with money they don’t have, while he stacked his millions. And it was Dame and Biggs who made Roc A Fella work, Jay was a face. It was LA Reid who made Def Jam work, Jay was a face. That list goes on and on. And now its Jay once again taking advantage of how little consumers know about streaming.

        Reply
  13. superduper

    To me, there are a few things about the Tidal debacle that I’ve noticed.

    1) A lot of people are criticizing the artists that are being Tidal for being ‘rich celebrities’ begging for money. While I don’t necessarily think that they are necessarily entitled to being rich, it begs the question as to why we criticize artists for being rich in it of itself. So where do you draw the line? If you are a rich musician does that necessarily mean that you can’t continue your success in the industry?

    2) Nobody likes the price point. I have always said that Tidal overvalued its subscription price. It seems as if a lot of people also agree with that notion. Nobody wants to pay 20 bucks a month for music. So what is the best value for music industry?

    3) The exclusives. As for the exclusives I don’t see anybody liking the idea of exclusives. I would actually tend to agree with this, especially if streaming – as I would dread – becomes the norm. How can the music industry service the Balkanization of music if this does become the norm? Would piracy flourish? Maybe it would just strengthen YouTube.

    4) I have not heard anything about royalties and whether or not they will really be better in both the short term and the long term. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • Anonymous

      1) A lot of people are criticizing the artists that are being Tidal for being ‘rich celebrities’ begging for money. While I don’t necessarily think that they are necessarily entitled to being rich, it begs the question as to why we criticize artists for being rich in it of itself. So where do you draw the line? If you are a rich musician does that necessarily mean that you can’t continue your success in the industry?

      Rich people asking for mo money in a world where most people live paycheck to paycheck is douchey. It doesn’t matter how they got rich.

      Reply
      • superduper

        You’re right.

        And another thing to add on to that about artist compensation. If artists are not being compensated well enough that could mean something more than just rich people trying to make a quick buck. If it is true that could mean that the artists themselves are actively exploiting the music industry for their own profit, which would be even worse than we realize. To me, it doesn’t seem as if Tidal pays its artists fairly even if it does pay a little better than other services like Spotify or YouTube. I still don’t think that unlimited streaming can translate into a sustainable business model. In fact I don’t think many people really thinks that it is, especially the people who divert the conversation to citing other sources of revenue, as it shows that even they don’t think that streaming will make enough money.

        Reply

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