The TIDAL wave

Tidal, the music streaming service created by Jay-Z, is becoming the talk of the music industry. While streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora and Soundcloud already exist, the immediate question that arises is: Will Tidal be the dawn of a new era in the industry? In my eyes, the answer is no. 

I am a self-professed Jay-Z fan. I have been listening to his music since American Gangster came out in 2007, but in no way can I justify spending up to £19.99 each month. Cheaper alternatives, such as Spotify, are available at half the price of Tidal.

Two things about Tidal stand out: Firstly, Jay-Z has managed to get many big name artists to work on this project next to him. Some of these artists include Kanye West, J. Cole and Beyoncé – who happens to be Jay-Z’s wife.

Secondly, Tidal has stated their desire to make the listeners’ experience the full force of their music, and with that they have introduced an improved sound quality of 1411 kbps on Tidal HiFi, which costs £19.99 in the U.K.. In comparison, Spotify has a sound quality of 320 kbps.

The numbers look striking, and could potentially sway you in favor of Tidal, but after sound quality reaches 300 kbps, the difference is minimal if anything at all, for anything above. Also, is it worth you spending almost £10 more (£9.99 for Spotify premium as opposed to £19.99 for Tidal HiFi)? Again, I don’t think so.

As of right now Tidal is a good idea, but in its current state, it is not a streaming service everyone should spend money on. At the launch press conference, Jay-Z talked about “putting the power back into the artists’ hands,” and on paper, that is a fantastic idea.

Music has always been about empowering the public, and once the artists are back in power, not only will there be more music, but also more meaningful music once the corporate influence is minimized, thus providing artists with more creative autonomy.

Tidal has the opportunity to grow into something big. It has the fundamental framework to be something big, but if it wants to appeal to mass audiences, not only will the price need to come down, but the incentives to use the service need to be raised. Jay-Z made a statement recently by taking down his first studio album, Reasonable Doubt, from Spotify, and other artists must follow his lead if Tidal is to take off.

As of right now, Tidal is for the hard core listener. That’s great for a minority, but until it does more to appeal to the general public, it will be nothing more than another streaming service that has risen and died within the space of a few months. Jay-Z’s, along with other star’s, affiliation only creates a short term aura around it; now, it must start delivering if it is going to survive in an already crowded industry.

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

All The Standard Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *