So the new streaming service in town is Tidal. It was started by a company in Sweden called Aspiro, but purchased very early on the game by Jay Z’s company Project Panther. The idea is that the audio quality is much higher, and there is no free service. I am not fully aware of the original idea by the Swedish company, but something tells me it originally was aimed to be more of a boutique streaming service. Now they are fighting for the slice of the major streaming pie, that Spotify is starting to be the ruler of.
For me, Tidal made a massive mistake. They released a promotional video where many high-profile artists got together to talk about how they believe in Tidal and how it is going to put art and people before technology. You can see the video HERE. Well I am sorry to say this, but I think the video was load of bull crap! It was like trying to impress everybody by getting many high-profile names behind it (which I’d suspect were offered shares in the company…) and expect the public to be so impressed by this that they would rush in to signing up with it. For me this approach is so outdated. People have the technology in their hands, and they will go with the service that Serves them the best. The funny thing is, I have not heard too many people moaning about the sound quality on Spotify, and that is the only advantage Tidal have right now. They claim to pay much more to the artist, but the first thing they did was partner with the three major labels… Trust me here, the artist will not see anything before the labels take their generous cut. “But I am independent” I hear you say. Are you? Who distributes your music? Who gets it to the streaming services?
There is very few things you can do in the music business these days without the majors having their hands in the pie. For me I am still standing on the side of the artist, but at the same time fully keep my eye on what the listener wants. You see it is your audience who at the end of the day decides where they will listen to the music, and us artists should respect that.
I for one now believe Spotify is winning the battle in the streaming game. Only time will tell what Apples entry to the game will look like. What they have, is a strong history in music and loyal customer base. Besides, they rarely fail… Tidal now has fired their CEO and 25 staff members and hired the former CEO of Aspiro instead. They state that he has better understanding the current music market, which I believe is right. Only time will tell if the public is willing to forget that arrogant video of artist claiming to reclaim art…
As an independent artist I am seriously considering ways to work around the major labels racket. It can be hard, but with services like Bandcamp and Patreon I believe this could be done. My only worry is not making enough money to survive, but how I can serve the listener the best possible way. Now there’s a humble concept the major labels could learn from 😉
The author J.P. Kallio is a singer songwriter
To get EIGHT of his songs for free go HERE