23 Days Later, TIDAL Is Dying…

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Source: App Annie.

66 Responses

  1. Irving Mindreader

    For years, the mantra inside the bubble was, ‘Content Is King’.

    Those of us who countered, ‘Yeah but…’ were drowned out by this simple binary delusion. It was after all the status quo, reinforced by massive advances from, and equity stakes in, hundreds of music startups.

    Well folks, you can’t say we didn’t warn you. In fact, until we were blue in the face. Now your King is dead.

    The real king…is dopamine. The goal line moved while you were gloating in the mirror.

    Content alone doesn’t produce it anymore, and you have drowned in the evidence.

    Nice charts, bro. Bang up job, so far.

    • Anonymous

      “the mantra inside the bubble was, ‘Content Is King’”

      It was, it is and it always will be. 🙂

      Remove content from Spotify/YouTube/PirateBay/GoogleSearch/Pandora, and Spotify/YouTube/PirateBay/GoogleSearch/Pandora are d.e.a.d.

      • jw

        >> Remove content from Spotify/YouTube/PirateBay/
        >> GoogleSearch/Pandora, and Spotify/YouTube/
        >> PirateBay/GoogleSearch/Pandora are d.e.a.d.

        Remove content from all of those services & good luck getting anyone to hear it.

        • Anonymous

          Because nobody listened to music in the dark ages before Spotify/YouTube/PirateBay/GoogleSearch/Pandora, haha.

          Content is king — Spotify/YouTube/PirateBay/GoogleSearch/Pandora are dead without it.

          • jw

            In the “dark ages” before Spotify/YouTube/PirateBay/GoogleSearch/Pandora, people tuned into broadcast media, or they shopped at brick & mortar stores. The infrastructure that supported that system has all but disappeared.

            Try going back.

            I wish you the best of luck.

          • Anonymous

            Not sure what you’re trying to say.

            Bottom line: Media platforms are worthless without content. They come and go, and you don’t miss them when they’re dead.

            But I dare you: Take away music, literature, art or movies and see what happens…

          • jw

            Obviously I’m saying that content is just as worthless without media platforms.

            What’s more, subpar content can flourish on a great media platform. But great content rarely (if ever) flourishes without the support of a great media platform. And there will never not be content for media platforms.

            So… remove all of your content from the media platforms & see what happens…

          • Anonymous

            “I’m saying that content is just as worthless without media platforms”

            This is just stupid.

            People have loved music and art since the dawn of man.

          • Ash

            Good luck convincing every artist in the industry to pull their music from said services. Not gonna happen.

          • Remi Swierczek

            Content is not a KING!
            Content should be just a teaser generating cash for tunes you want to own or have them at the finger tip!

            We can simply convert Radio and streaming to PRIMITIVE music store and observe revenues to grow to $100B by 2020. Google the biggest MUSIC PIMP could double revenues while creating new music industry!

      • Anonymous

        It takes less mutual action to topple a government then it does to topple a content distribution service.

        • Remi Swierczek

          I agree but we might see precedent.

          Do not forget we are dealing with CONTENT GIVEAWAY SERVICES!
          That content is someone’s property and for the moment is under lazy, confused and also ARROGANT management.

          All “content delivery services” with no exception deliver just small fraction of real value of music.
          Not counting iTunes, Amazon or Google Play subscription streamers are the best at max 10% of the actual value.

          Again ALL but few can provide same or improved pleasure after being converted to PRIMITIVE and profitable discovery based music stores!

    • GStorm

      Whenever I hear someone say “content is king” I know I am dealing with someone who has no clue how to create original content. That’s why they develop a catch phrase for it. And after saying it and nodding their heads like clowns, they move on to doing what they know – marketing.

    • Paul Resnikoff

      Yes! Thank you for re-engaging on the ‘Content Is King’ debate. Long ago, that mantra did make sense, you’re correct. These days, seems like the mantra has been inverted! Content seems dispensable, abundant, often value-less, drowning in its own over-supply.

      Thanks for making me think on this topic again!

      • GGG

        “drowning in its own over-supply.”

        This touches on an interesting debate. Who’s fault is this really? Services that offer access to the over-supply, be it Spotify or iTunes or blogs reviewing 20 bands a day? Or is it shitty people who think they’re talented and contribute to the over-supply? Or is it technology that allows shitty people (and talented people for that matter) to create and distribute music with a few clicks? If I didn’t stream music I wouldn’t hear literally 90% of the new music I hear. I simply couldn’t afford to buy tens of albums every week. So are you going to tell me I’m devaluing music by streaming it? Or is it just streaming services’ fault for allowing access?

        • Remi Swierczek

          You are correct is brilliant to move brilliant work in to the pipe line with the click for instant access almost anywhere!

          The problem we have is automatic ownership or free of charge addition the the playlist!

          If something pleases you should be forced to pay for addition to the playlist. As far as I am concerned you should be rewarded with TOTAL OWNERSHIP.
          There are simple methods to put a pay wall between your TOTAL PLEASURE and future use at any place and any time.

          Wake up UMG NERDS or allow to be evicted from the music house.

          Hey Vivendi, actually Mr. Bolore,

          Your music property is plowed by stone age farmers.


      • Anonymous

        “the ‘Content Is King’ debate”

        There is no debate, Paul — only education.


        YouTube, Google, iTunes, Spotify and Digital Music News would die without content!

        The opposite is not true. History proves that.

  2. jw

    I hope Tidal does well, but we’re in a period of format transition. Tidal may be a terrific product that’s simply too far ahead of its time as a premium-only service.

    No streaming service has a chance at gaining any real traction without a free tier to fuel streaming adoption. Users with music collections aren’t going to just jump into the deep end. Even a free trial doesn’t appear to be enough. Only a no-commitment free tier (presumably with a mobile component, even if hamstrung, included) has the power to pull people away from their owned collections. Or youtube, for that matter.

    Would love to see statistics on how far into their free trial Spotify users are upgrading to premium.

    What we’re seeing is that this transition is going to have to be underwritten by someone (albeit this could be minimized with a more effective ad selling division), & right now that’s Wall Street. And that underwriter will be collecting on their investment for a long time, if they collect at all. Jay Z seems to have overestimated the draw of exclusives, & if the Tidal crew resort to pulling major releases from Spotify, that’s only going to impede the growth of the format. That’s only going to be good for YouTube.

  3. Yep

    TIDAL has helped the industry, but not in the way they intended.

    This catastrophic over night death, of the TIDAL app, has sent a very clear message to the industry.

    No free tier = death of service.

    Any any label, artist or services that kicks against that can expect the same fate.

    • Andy O)))

      No free tier = death of service*

      *unless you are purchased by Apple

        • steveh

          Yutube’s gone really wierd in the last couple of days.

          Stopped showings ads. No more iTunes links in the little note below content matched tracks.

          Has content match gone down?

          Anyone else seeing this?

          • steveh

            UPDATE:- I think this was because I just installed adblock. Didn’t know it affected youtube.

            But this can’t bode well for the Youtube subscription service, if you can just block the ads – and the iTunes link – at the drop of a hat….

          • jw

            Really? You’re just now figuring out adblockers?

            Currently ~10% of users block ads, & it’s just a cost of doing business. I’m not convinced it’s a significant challenge for YouTube’s subscription service, least of all because I think mobile is going to be the main driver. But YouTube has much bigger obstacles to overcome, like the fact that common (non ad-block) users are conditioned to sit through preroll ads at this point.

          • steveh

            Sorry for my ignorance about adblock. I only did it a short while ago because there were some really horrible flashing ads on another site I was using – nothing to do with music.

            Just out of interest:- what is the big Youtube subscription benefit for mobile users?

    • Mac K

      I agree, regardless of if Tidal sinks or swims, its showing the industry new standards and strategies that work and (as is the case here) don’t work.

    • Nissl

      “No free tier” doesn’t work when your competitors have one. Perhaps things would be different if the labels took Spotify’s free tier away and windowed major releases on Youtube.

      • Yep

        If labels removed free tier on spotify, people would gravitate to youtube.

        If they did the same to youtube they will go to illegal sites.

        Everyone needs to wake up!

        This is the internet, controlling content is impossible.

        Providing a seemingly free service (I.e a free tier) is the only way to lure people to monitized platforms

        • Anonymous

          “controlling content is impossible”

          Well, that’s just nonsense.

          You can’t eradicate theft completely, but it would be extremely easy to stop mainstream piracy.

          Just look at Google Search — it claimed for years that it couldn’t block child abuse, but the Google twins suddenly changed their minds a few years ago and stopped monetizing/linking to violence against children when complaints from child care organizations and politicians finally reached the critical mass.

          Next: Piracy.

          • Yep


            Google have not stopped that. Checkout the scale of convictions for this crime, recently.

            You cannot outlaw the Internet.

            It’s just a new technology, like the LP

            Embrace it

          • jw

            Child porn is illegal based on it’s very existence. There is basically no instance where child porn would be wrongly removed from the Google database. And therefore a third party (without a commercial incentive) can be trusted to maintain a blacklist by hand.

            Music, as content, isn’t illegal. It’s a licensing issue. The context is paramount. The fundamental difference between these issues are profound. And comparing a CHILD SAFETY issue to a commercial issue sort of makes you sound insane.

            The implications that would arise from allowing a third party (WITH a commercial incentive) to maintain a licensing blacklist are far reaching, & affect the entire internet.

          • Anonymous

            I like to say copyright infringement is not a function of the content, but rather how its used. This makes it a strong AI problem to detect mechanically.

          • Anonymous

            “I like to say copyright infringement is not a function of the content, but rather how its used”

            What does that even mean?

          • Anonymous

            Look up what mathematical functions are, you pasty liberal arts major.

          • Anonymous

            “There is basically no instance where child porn would be wrongly removed from the Google database”

            Great, so you agree that content not only can but should be controlled.

            And just for your information:

            There’s also no instance where the Pirate Bay — or similar criminal sites — would be wrongly removed from the Google database.

          • There is something...

            Of course there are… Some artists do distribute music through torrents. Some music on torrents sites may not be protected by copyright. That’s why you can’t compare it with illegal contents.

        • Nissl

          A moderate chunk of of tech-savvy folks would resort to piracy in one form or another, perhaps. I bet the large majority of those 45m free Spotify users wouldn’t, though. Some would get a paid tier of a service – it’s only a small fraction of a phone or TV subscription per month! Some would drop down to internet radio, a few would return to buying tracks on iTunes.

          You’re right, you can’t control the internet. So the plan is to get paid reasonably for providing a better, more convenient service than the pirates (with a healthy side of encouraging people to support the creators of art they enjoy). But that works less well when you provide a free equivalent that’s virtually as good.

          • jw

            The users who would upgrade likely would’ve eventually upgraded, anyhow.

            And when you say “tech savvy,” you must realize that includes pretty much everyone under the age of 30.

    • Name2

      Catastrophic overnight death??

      March 30 wasn’t the beginning of time, it was the star-studded relaunch of Tidal. Which resulted in a spike.

      One would expect that Jay-Z, Madonna, Beyonce, Rihanna, et al. can click-bait their way to such a spike in app downloads.

      • Anonymous

        Notice that their popularity dropped way further then it was before the event. I guess there is such a thing as bad publicity.

    • MusicianWhoUnderstands

      Andy O)))

      No free tier = death of service*

      *unless you are purchased by Apple


      Paul Resnikoff

      Ha, well define ‘death’! Is making $4 billion, and still not making a profit (ie, YouTube), life?

      1) You tube IS free, Paul. What part of that (or Andy O’s post) did you completely fail to understand?

      2) Why do you think YouTube earned $4b? Source?

    • Antinet

      Whatever, streaming toadie. Yeah, free is king. Never heard that before.

  4. Edward Jennings

    A narrow and incomplete analysis based upon iOS downloads alone.

    TIDAL is also a Web Player application and can be established with a Facebook or Twitter API login through an Internet Web browser like Apple Safari, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer on Windows, OS/X and Linux platforms. That is the broader context of TIDAL usage in the past 21 days.

    Plus TIDAL HiFi is available from Google Play and on Android devices, where is that data?

  5. Anonymous

    Netflix never had a “Free Tier” but millions gladly pay a monthly fee

    • Anonymous

      Netflix did not need to offer a free tier. The service itself is an incredible value. $8 per month for an entire family. Music services are $10 per month per person. If we had priced music services more like Netflix, those music services would probably be similarly successful. Netflix is now in the position where they can start raising their price and make significant profit because they have made themselves a necessity in nearly every family home. Labels/artists went about this in reverse because their greed got in the way and they couldn’t see the long term. Now everything is a mess.

      • Anonymous

        I should add that even now the music industry is still fucking up. Netflix charge $3-4 more per month for their 4k service. Raising the rate from $8-9 per month to $12 per month. That’s a deal consumers are willing to buy into. The music industry? Well, if you want the 4k equivalent for music (lossless) that will be $20 per month or double the regular $10 price. This pricing is insanity.

        • jw

          Also, Netflix launched with a novel transitional service (dvd rental by mail)… it’s very important to note that they got out ahead of the curve, & transitioned to digital streaming as soon internet bandwidth allowed. They rode the curve, & that’s why they’ve been so successful. Even now, they’re leading the movement towards exclusive premium streaming content, way ahead of services like HBO To Go. Netflix has always been forward thinking.

          Spotify, on the other hand, launched nearly a decade after it should’ve. There should’ve been an independent digital download store (not iTunes, who were most concerned with creating a platform that sold their hardware) that was transitioning to streaming in the mid ’00s & maybe it could’ve launched as a premium service (like Netflix did) & taken hold. It wouldn’t be the uphill battle that it now is.

        • Anonymous

          “if you want the 4k equivalent for music (lossless)”

          Here’s the 4k equvalent for music:

          Decent (not great, not good, not expensive) speakers or headphones!

          Nobody — literally — can tell the difference between current iTunes quality and 16/44.1.

      • so

        And Netflix’s variety and quality on the streaming side in terms of titles mostly sucks. With a music subscription, you are getting access to just about the entire history of recorded music. This point isn’t made often enough.

        • Anonymous

          Yeah but most don’t give a shit about the entire universe of recorded music.

          • Anonymous

            Don’t be silly, we all love, need and use recorded music…

          • Anonymous

            Nobody needs access to 40 million songs. Most people listen to the same 50 songs at most.

        • Anonymous

          It is true Netflix’s catalog is lacking. But they are working around the clock to fix that and every month they add a sizable number of titles. And not just meaningless shows no one has heard of. Spotify’s catalog is very deep by comparison but they too are missing content. And the music industry’s elite are working hard to make Spotify’s catalog worse. Just look at Tidal’s owners, Taylor Swift, and the variety of other artists we hear about on a weekly basis pulling their music from Spotify or deciding to window new albums. They are devaluing Spotify with every pull. So music services and the music industry are again at odds with Netflix. If we want to have Netflix’s success then we need to stop doing the opposite of Netflix at every turn.

        • Antinet

          Its true Netflix selection actually sucks. HUlu or HBO are much better. Problem is people still believe the need to pay to see a brand new movie. They don’t think that about a new song.

          Too many labels and musicians are posting their music for free on Youtube and elsewhere. Film producers are much more cagey, maybe because the investment is so much higher. Also, digital video is much more variable in quality than music.

  6. DeeR

    I wouldn’t count Tidal out yet, they have deep pockets. It’s possible for them to pivot their strategy and pay indie musicians fairly, they may come to this conclusion quickly with all the negative press on this launch.

    • Anonymous

      All this TIDAL negativity is ridiculous. Get over it. Choose a streaming service and enjoy the music. If you don’t like TIDAL, spend your money elsewhere. Kenny Rogers Roasters never had this type of negative blowback from the masses that loved KFC. Who cares.

    • Anonymous

      Their pockets are nothing like Spotify or Apple’s.

    • Sarah

      Resources are relative. Let’s say you have $50. If you’re competing against someone who only has $10, you’re in good shape. If you’re competing against someone with $100, you’re behind.

      Tidal has quite shallow pockets compared to its leading competition. It can still win, of course, but money is not Tidal’s competitive edge.

  7. superduper

    I, like many others have predicted this to happen. It’s simply too overvalued for what it is.

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