Tidal's Point Break
Thursday, June 25, 2015
The Verge (06/03/15) Singleton, Micah
In March, Jay Z's company Roc Nation purchased the music-streaming service Tidal, which offers an alternative to iTunes and Spotify, but pays its artists royalties up to four times greater than Spotify. Tidal boasts higher-quality audio than Spotify but does not offer free streaming services. The $20 per month subscription includes a ticketing feature run by Ticketmaster offering early tickets to concerts and music festivals, as well as exclusive concert series. Tidal has several components, including Tidal X, a concert series and live-streaming platform. Tidal's most unique feature may be Tidal Rising, which offers free advertising and publicity to carefully selected, promising new artists whose work is featured on the front pages of the service alongside established artists. Initially, Tidal was not well received after it posted a launch video known as the “Fig House summit,” featuring 16 music artists describing their aspirations for the service. Each of the 16 artists owns an equal stake in the company. The summit video was widely panned, and commentators noted, according to surveys, most teenagers listen to music free of charge on YouTube and will be unlikely to pay for a subscription. Moreover, Apple will soon launch its own streaming service, Beats, which will offer free streaming and exclusive content. However, Tidal's Vania Schlogel believes Tidal's image has been misconstrued, and that Tidal is not about artists trying to make more money, but about supporting budding artists and the music industry overall.
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