In 2014 Tidal launched with the intent to change the music industry forever. The music streaming service wanted to give consumers the best musical listening experience while paying artists and songwriters the highest royalties. In 2015 the company was purchased by Jay-Z and rebranded to the Tidal we know today. The marketing plan for the relaunch was centered around today’s biggest music stars declaring that a movement was upon us. The #TidalForAll became a rallying cry for all artists who supported Jay-Z’s venture.
It was hit with some resistance from the public. Many claimed that Tidal was a money grab from artist and all they were doing was lining their pockets more. Let’s face it, the last thing the average American wants to hear is a millionaire talk about getting more money. Unlike Spotify and Pandora, Tidal doesn’t offer a free subscription. You’re more than welcome to try the free 30 day trial but after that you have to fork over $9.99 or $19.99 per month to have access to the service.
There’s no such thing as a monopoly these days so Tidal does have some stiff competition in Apple Music.
I’m not going to dive into the nuts and bolts about the difference between the two but I have noticed that Apple Music seems to have been met with less scrutiny than Tidal.
Why is that?
It’s all in the presentation.
Take a look at Apple’s introductory press conference. It’s an average Joe giving us an in depth look at the product. No gimmicks and no over the top gestures.
Now look at the Tidal press conference. It’s just a bunch of stars signing a piece of paper. I’m a huge fan of almost every artist on that stage but even I can see through this. They’re claiming to stick up for the “little guy” but we all know the truth.
The Tidal brand needs some fine tuning, especially after this Kanye West debacle. Some may say that it’s genius for Kanye to keep his album exclusively on Tidal and on some level it is. The only problem with Kanye’s plan is that those who don’t have Tidal can download his album for free if he doesn’t want to release it to iTunes. I buy every new Jay-Z and J. Cole album because I love their music. People buy music because they respect the artist, if the artist doesn’t reciprocate that respect then consumers have alternate avenues to obtain their music.
If Jay-Z wants to take Tidal to the next level then he needs to start promoting the people it was meant to help. We need to see campaigns built around the little guy. We need to hear their story and how Tidal helped their dreams come true. We don’t need to see an already made star saying how great Tidal is.
He really needs to invest in his own slogan: #TidalForAll
As always, thanks for reading.