Hello all, it’s been a while I know. But something called Tidal left me so miffed this week that I felt the need to vent my frustration on here.
As many of you know some of the biggest names in music came together this week to launch a new product which they claimed was “groundbreaking”, “revolutionary” and would “change the world forever” – in reality it was nothing new at all.
The bizarre promotional video for this new project began with some of the biggest artists from the music industry coming together and discussing the new product around a table. Each of them dishes out a one-liner on how this is going to change the world, and then it cuts to clips of them drinking champagne together. At no point do they mention what the product is, or what it does – it instead gives the impression that this is some kind of social justice campaign. That artists are coming together, presumably to make music more accessible to the world. However you immediately identify that these people are egomaniacs – at the very beginning you hear lines like “… it’s like the beginning of a new world”, “this is a historic day”, “change the course of history forever” and then around 58 second mark you hear Beyoncé say “this collaboration feels so ego-less..” Hang on, have you not heard what all of you have been saying?!
Then we have the launch event. Alicia Keys takes to the podium, what follows is four whole minutes of pretentious drivel, followed by a tedious set piece where the artists step forward one by one to scribble their names on a declaration… A declaration presumably to make their pockets all the more deeper with cash.
Ultimately after such a egotistical promotional video and ceremony, we were all expecting something that was going to reinvent the music industry. Instead we got Spotify Mark II with a much higher price ticket.
What has Tidal actually achieved? Its selling points: it’s artist-owned, and higher quality.
If they can produce a system which has better sound quality then great, well done you. But please spare us all this bollocks about revolutionizing the world and changing our lives forever. Its sound quality, hardly a bloody cure for cancer.
Now what do we mean by “artist-owned”.
Physical sales have gone down substantially, why? Downloading is all the more popular and far cheaper and convenient. We can stream entire albums for a few pounds a month and so for emerging talents and indie artists, life can be difficult. If there was actually a streaming site available – a co-operative for musicians to run whereby there was an equal distribution of profits then this would be a different story…
But this is Tidal.. The shareholders are the artists you saw on that stage, with a combined wealth of over $2.7 billion. They are the ones set to profit from Tidal, not small time artists who are struggling to make it in the industry. “This is for the people, by the people” said Beyoncé. What she really meant was it’s for us super-rich artists by us super rich artists, and we the people can pay the extra price.
What makes this all the more infuriating? According to Alicia Keys, Tidal is some sort of crusade to save the world, “Our mission goes beyond commerce, it goes beyond technology. Our intent is to preserve music’s importance in our lives”, she said. Madonna then followed this up by posting an image on Instagram with the caption: “If you refer to Tidal as Illuminati, you are paying us the highest of compliments. As I’ve stated before it is another name for ‘The Enlightened Ones’ a group of scientists, philosophers and artists that emerged after the dark ages. They changed and shaped the world for the better! Do the research and find out for yourself!” – I mean c’mon folks really?
Here’s a point, with their combined wealth these artists could help end world hunger. Why not chuck some money at that instead?
I mean sure guys, take on Spotify and see how far you get with your overpriced, relatively average product. But to do it under the guise of some community project, with a higher moral purpose? What planet are you on?