“Jay Z unveiled Tidal at a press conference in late March, flanked by 15 of the biggest acts in the music business, including his wife, Beyoncé, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Jack White, and Kanye West, all of whom were introduced as equity shareholders. Many seemed awkward and unprepared. Another owner, Alicia Keys, quoted Nietzsche and gushed about Tidal’s cultural significance: ‘We’re gathered … with one voice, in unity, in the hopes that today will be another one of those moments in time, a moment that will forever change the course of music history,'” Devin Leonard writes for Bloomberg. “There was a lot of utopian rhetoric about restoring the value of music in the digital age. Less time was spent on new features, technology, or other reasons for listeners to try—and pay for—a Tidal subscription.”

“The backlash was immediate. Tidal’s detractors weren’t just the predictably vexatious music bloggers, who described the service as little more than a vehicle for musical plutocrats to line their pockets. The haters also included some of Jay Z’s peers,” Leonard writes. “‘They totally blew it by bringing out a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and propping them up onstage and then having them all complain about not being paid,’ said Ben Gibbard, lead singer of the indie rock group Death Cab for Cutie. The habitually caustic Noel Gallagher of Oasis told Rolling Stone, ‘Do these people think they are the f—in’ Avengers? They are going to save the f—in’ [world]?'”

“It’s too early to write off Tidal,” Leonard writes. “But if the company does fail, it may be because Jay Z didn’t anticipate the skeptical response to his claim that he was working for some greater good of all musicians. He’s fundamentally a cynic. How could he not be treated that way, after dumbing down his music and attaching his name to everything from Budweiser to Microsoft? No wonder people have questioned his motives with Tidal. As Jay Z himself once put it, “I sell ice in the winter. I sell fire in hell. I am a hustler, baby. I sell water to a well.””

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s too early to write off Tidal*, but it won’t be after June 8th.

*For some. We wrote it off back in March.


Jay-Z’s Tidal music service is already a spectacular flop – April 21, 2015
Why Jay-Z’s ‘Tidal’ music subscription service doesn’t matter – March 31, 2015