Have you ever wondered why people never pay for music? It’s simple; free music is practically everywhere. With various options like the gigantic Pandora, rapidly growing Spotify, and illegal piracy of songs online, consumers will find all the music they want for free. On the flip side, artists aren’t getting paid. That’s why Jay Z started TIDAL. Offering superior audio quality and exclusive content, TIDAL plans to elevate the music industry and bring money back to artists.
So, what is it? TIDAL is a music and video streaming service that features 25 million-plus tracks, 75,000 music videos, and high fidelity, lossless audio —meaning that everything that’s supposed to be heard is heard. Since TIDAL is owned by some of the biggest names in music, like Beyoncé, Daft Punk, and Madonna, artists can do whatever they want with their music, including releasing exclusive content. To access this content, however, you have to subscribe, and this will cost you $10 a month or $20 if you want to take advantage of the lossless audio.
Now, TIDAL’s lossless audio sounds great, but Pandora and Spotify’s sound quality is already working well for me. So why should I subscribe to TIDAL? First, music is an art as well as a profession and second, artists need to get their fair pay. According to Jay Z, “Water is free. Music is $6, but no one wants to pay for music. You should drink free water from the tap — it’s a beautiful thing. And if you want to hear the most beautiful song, then support the artist.” Clearly, music is more than just someone singing or rapping into a microphone; it’s an entire enterprise. Your favorite song has writers, sound producers, and instrumental groups. If it’s released only on the radio or on free streaming services, theses producers, along with the recording artist, aren’t getting any compensation for their hard work.
By offering only subscriptions, TIDAL is putting music back in the forefront. “We're really not here to compete with anyone,” says Jay Z, “we're actually here to improve the landscape.” Jay Z believes that music has become a valueless commodity. If people simply invest in it, they’ll be able to appreciate it . Giving high royalties to artists will create an incentive toward perfecting their music. Once other streaming companies follow suit, the livelihood of all artists, big or small, will be greatly improved, and music’s integrity will return.
TIDAL plans to change the music industry. Although it’s more expensive than what you’re used to, subscribing will improve your listening experience and create a deeper connection with your music. “Some people really care about, and are really passionate about their music and want it to be heard the way it was intended. It's not for everybody, and we're not trying to force it on you but if that's what you like and that's what you really care about, then you have the option. And that's what Tidal is saying.”