Dre Z

TIDAL

With Dr. Dre on the West Coast at Apple and Jay Z in NYC with his latest venture, it seems we could have a new rap rivalry on our hands.

That venture is TIDAL. The music streaming service was relaunched at a press conference that featured the ‘who’s who’ of the music industry. Stars including Kanye, Rihanna, Madonna, Jack White, Usher and many (many) more lined up to sign a ‘declaration’, changed their Twitter avatars to a turquoise square and framed the whole thing as a ‘revolution’.

So what’s so revolutionary about TIDAL? It follows the same basic model as Spotify – customers pay a subscription fee to stream music, but there’s no free tier, which means no advertising, and it promises double the amount of royalties for artists. Jay and co. are claiming that, as TIDAL is a music service owned and run by musicians, it’s the ‘fair trade’ alternative to other streaming services, basically ‘if you care about artists and music, you should use TIDAL’. By getting music’s top dogs on board and selling itself as a revolution with a nifty social media campaign, TIDAL might just be ‘cooler’ than Spotify and Pandora. By offering higher quality streaming options at a price, it’s also the first time we’ve seen a ‘luxury’ category emerge from the streaming market.

This doesn’t come without its problems though. As many Twitter users pointed out, the people on the stage were hardly starving artists (collectively worth $2,676,000,000) and by getting behind this ‘revolution’ they may be neglecting other purposeful campaigns such as #BlackLivesMatter. Plus TIDAL has already been called out for ‘ripping off’ the music of smaller artist The Haxan Cloak in its promo video.

Many critics have already condemned the service to die a death. Hopefully not in any way like the last big hip-hop conflict.

This list originally appeared in Moving World Wednesday 20150401

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