Even though Spotify pays out more than 70% of its revenue to artists, labels and song publishers artists, such as Taylor Swift, are challenging the open freemium model of Spotify and believe they should be getting much more money.
Cue Jay Z – who really does “run this town”.
Jay Z recently bought music streaming service, Tidal, in which artists will bind together to combat the free music streaming issue. Majority of Tidal will be owned by artists to bring financial benefits to the people who are creating the work.
Artists include – Rihanna, Kanye West, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Jack White, Alicia Keys, Jason Aldean, Daft Punk and of course Queen B herself Beyonce.
Tidal will have no free version. There will be a $10 a month option for a compressed format and $20 a month for CD-quality streams.
“The challenge is to get everyone to respect music again, to recognize its value,” said Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter. “Water is free. Music is $6 but no one wants to pay for music. You should drink free water from the tap — it’s a beautiful thing. And if you want to hear the most beautiful song, then support the artist.” – From NYT Article Jay Z Plans For Tidal.
The freemium service is unfair to artists, but it’s hard to feel bad for millionaire musicians like Jay Z and Taylor Swift. I do however feel for up and coming artists who are struggling to make a living by making music. Maybe Jay Z’s new service will help include a larger variety in music and not just the top tier of celebrity musicians.
It’ll be interesting to see how Tidal competes with Spotify’s 60 million users, 15 million of which who pay for the upgraded service. It’s smart timing though as major labels are beginning to pull out of Spotify. It’s been known that Spotify won’t remain free forever, and that time is most likely to come sooner with other streaming services such as Apple Beats and Tidal quickly approaching. Watch out for the Tidal (wave).