Friday, 3 April 2015

Jay-Z has 99 problems (and Spotify is one of them)

Everyone loves Spotify, right?

Well, no.

The market-leading subscription service routinely comes under attack for paying artists so little, with even Universal Music Group, who part-own the service, unhappy with the low conversation rate from freemium to premium.

And, now, a 'new' service called Tidal has arrived. At least in North America.

As a UK resident, I have yet to sample the delights of 'Daisy' (similarly hyped), which of course had Trent Reznor's input. So, when I hear of a new game-changing service, I can't help but feel like it sort of doesn't really exist until I get to try it out.

Anyhow, collectively owned in part from artists themselves, Tidal simply aims to generate more revenues for content creators. And it has backing from a lot of high profile musicians such as Madonna.

Jay-Z explains: "For someone like me, I can go on tour. But what about the people working on the record, the content creators and not just the artists?"

This is at the heart of everything.

It's easy (and unsophisticated) to say that rich musicians don't need or deserve more money, but what about new and emerging artists?

Data from the Musicians Union (2012), who represent over 30,000 musicians, reveals that 78% of them earn less than £20,000 per year. It is also thought that just 1% of musicians account for some 77% of all music revenue. Many of them have signed up to Tidal.

Perhaps the smartest aspect of the service I have read about yet concerns the promise to allow musicians and fans to connect in new ways, along with exclusive content. This is something I have been anticipating for a while, but have yet to see it materialise in an exciting way.

Premature to expect any 'tidal waves' here, but there are some unique aspects about Tidal which are compelling and absolutely make it a rival contender for the likes of Spotify and Deezer.

At the end of the day though, with literally hundreds of different ways to legally access digital music, different people will of course shop around and settle on different services for particular reasons, just as they do with any product. I don't see any one taking over. But, if it did, I guess musicians would want it to be this one.

Twreats @musicpiracyblog

No comments:

Post a Comment