On Monday, a music-streaming service formerly known as WiMP was relaunched as TIDAL by Aspiro, a Swedish company recently purchased by Jay Z, for $56 million.
The announcement took place at a press conference featuring not only Jay Z, but a line-up of superstar musical acts ranging from Madonna to the Daft Punk guys — complete with robot helmets.
— Pitchfork (@pitchfork) March 30, 2015
Three takeaways from TIDAL’s debut:
1.The musicians emphasized, repeatedly, that the new product would be artist-owned. (The Financial Times reports that at least 15 musicians received equity portions and cash.)
2. Music lawyer Dina LaPolt says it’s an example of artists doing something major record labels have done — negotiating for not only royalties but equity from streaming companies. That gives them a piece of the potential upside of a growing streaming business. “About a third of revenues are generated from streaming music services,” says Cara Duckworth of the Recording Industry Association of America.
3. But how much more artists will make from the “artist-owned” platform remains unclear — even if they’re able to convince consumers to cough up the money for a paid subscription. TIDAL’s membership tiers of $9.99 and $19.99 are slightly more expensive than comparable streaming services, and it offers no free version. “In terms of the brass tacks of how much artists get paid, there really isn’t much Tidal can do,” says Mark Mulligan, music industry analyst at MIDiA Consulting.
If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air. But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.
Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.
When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.