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The Celebrities Came in Two by Two. Will Jay Z and Tidal Drown the Likes of Spotify?

Kanye West, Daft Punk, Alicia Keys, Jack White, Nicki Minaj, Jason Aldean, Usher, Arcade Fire, 
deadmau5, Madonna, Rihanna, Beyoncé, Jay Z, Calvin Harris, Chris Martin, Daft Punk,                     J. Cole.

This may look like a summer festival line-up, but do not be deceived. These are, in fact, Shawn Corey Carter’s cast, recruited to stand at his side as he launches the latest enterprise of the Jay Z brand.

In the few weeks since its purchase, Jay-z has amplified the quiet sound waves of Swedish company Aspiro into the celebrity driven tsunami that is Tidal. This developing company seeks to usurp Spotify driven by a Robin Hood style business-model that aims to share profit fairly amongst artists and businesses alike.

Their ethos centres on the principle that aspiring and up-and-coming artists should be given a fair percentage of the money generated by their music. The internet has made music so freely accessible that it is hard to imagine how new-comers can afford to live the musician’s lifestyle they require to create.

Of course sites like iTunes do help in funding musicians, and concepts such as crowd funding have been quite successful in the past, but we all know how easy it is to download pretty much any track in the world for free. Although the computer screen offers all but complete detachment from the idea that we are committing a crime by illegally downloading music, we in one sense steal profit earned by its creator. However, these issues are not black and white. Websites like YouTube offer free and legal listening to an infinite archive of songs, and with technology ever integrating, all that’s needed is a smartphone and signal for a virtual library to be yours, for free.

It may seem counter-intuitive to front a campaign that demands more money for performers with a gaggle of multimillionaires (Jay Z alone is estimated to be worth £350m). But their success has given them a voice, a voice that they now strain to sing away the struggles of others, that, at one time, they faced themselves.

The on-board celebs were quick to tap into the marketing potential of their enormous fan-base, promoting the release of, in the words of Alicia Keys,The first artist-owned global music and entertainment platform via their Twitter accounts, turning their profile pictures to a shade of Tidal blue.


Subscribers of Tidal are promised exclusive content, live discussion, Fan/artist communication and the chance to hear works in progress and in-session conversations. Not much more has been said, but they have outlined two preliminary subscription options, one for $10 pm and another for $20. The former offers full library access with only basic audio quality, with the more expensive option offering what they describe as “lossless high fidelity sound quality.

Leo Donnelly 

Ever wondered what would happen if you gave a half-crazed, semi-concussed, unstoppable maverick a platform to write about social media? Follow him @LeoAtSMF

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The Celebrities Came in Two by Two. Will Jay Z and Tidal Drown the Likes of Spotify? Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, April 01, 2015 Rating: 5
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