As it continues to collaborate with Universal Music Group (UMG) on an updated streaming-compensation model, Tidal has officially launched “Live,” which execs are billing as “a new way for fans to spontaneously share music.”
Tidal just recently rolled out Live, which had been called “DJ” during a prior early access program. According to the Block-owned streaming platform, Live is enabling paid users (not those with ad-supported accounts, it appears) to share tracks with others, besides connecting listeners and “music tastemakers.”
A cursory glance at the appropriate music service shows that Live essentially functions as a digital-radio option within the otherwise on-demand streaming offering. Hosts choose songs (presumably from a particular genre or centering on a specific mood), and listeners can mute but not pause or skip the selected works, the Tidal app shows.
“When starting a Live session, TIDAL subscribers can choose the session name to set the tone for what they’re playing and share a link for others to join,” the platform spelled out of Live, which is available on Android and iOS alike. “Shareable links to Live sessions let anyone join – from text messages and social media, to emails.”
Artists including Diplo and Aluna have already put out Live sessions – or what are effectively playlists that compel listeners to enjoy each featured track in its entirety and in a precise order. Tidal’s “genre experts” are poised to unveil “specially curated sessions” of their own moving forward, and global head of product Agustina Sacerdote in a statement touted Live’s perceived potential as a discovery and social tool.
“Through music, we are giving fans a way to connect with each other or with other creators, brands, and personalities through simple, one-click sharing,” said the more than five-year Block exec Sacerdote. “Using Live offers music fans a simple route to finding new music from other fans in-app or wherever a link is shared. We’re excited to see how Live is used to power moments through sharing music and bringing people together.”
In the approaching months, it’ll be worth keeping an eye on the functions and possible buildout of Tidal’s Live, which arrives on the scene just days after Turntable LIVE raised $7 million.
Though limited in scope at present, the latest feature from Tidal (the parent company of which also owns Cash App) could potentially serve as a foundation for chat options, direct connections between high-profile acts and their most diehard supporters, pop-up digital stores, and more down the line.
Of course, “launch parties” and once-off concerts have long been taking place in virtual universes like Roblox and Fortnite, delivering seemingly strong promotional and revenue benefits. And when explaining his belief “that the economic model for streaming needs to evolve,” UMG head Lucian Grainge pointed to “undervalued” artist contributions and fan interactions.
“There is a growing disconnect between, on the one hand, the devotion to those artists whom fans value and seek to support and, on the other, the way subscription fees are paid by the platforms,” Grainge stated. “Under the current model, the critical contributions of too many artists, as well as the engagement of too many fans, are undervalued.”
Deezer is also coordinating with UMG on the aforesaid streaming-payouts program, and while Spotify is discontinuing its live-audio app, the Stockholm-headquartered company intends to continue facilitating “live interactions between artists and fans” on its main platform, per higher-ups.