Announces Black Lives Matter donation
Tidal in association with Roc Nation announces $1.5 billion in funds from a previous charity concert will be donated to Black Lives Matter. Roc Nation says the team will support a different initiative each year.
The process of acquiring recommendations [for nonprofits] was collaborative and inspired by the message that speaks to racial and social inequities and injustice in our society.
Catalog available on streaming
The Beatles catalogue becomes available on nine streaming services: Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play, Amazon Prime Music, Tidal, Deezer, Microsoft Groove, Napster/Rhapsody and Slacker Radio.
Tonstad resigns as CEO. Executives in Oslo and New York will run Tidal until a replacement is found. Tonstad:
The only thing I can confirm is that I have resigned.
Launches desktop app, adds student discount
Tidal begins offering a beta desktop app for Mac and Windows users. The app will offer access to 35 million songs, 75,000 videos, gapless play, as well as support for Mac Airplay and DAC. The app will come with updated features, including a more prominent offline mode bar, concert tickets via Ticketmaster, updated search, more personalization options and a retooled menu for simplicity. The Compnay also says it will offer a discount program for students who have .edu addresses. Both of its payment plans will now be slashed in half for students.
Jay-Z defends Tidal in a series of Tweets.
Tidal is doing just fine. We have over 770,000 subs. We have been in business less than one month…The iTunes Store wasn’t built in a day. It took Spotify 9 years to be successful…We are here for the long haul. Please give us a chance to grow & get better…There are many big companies that are spending millions on a smear campaign. We are not anti-anyone, we are pro-artist & fan…We made Tidal for fans. We have more than just music. We have video, exclusive concerts, tickets for events early, live sports!..Tidal is where artists can give their fans more without the middlemen…Indie artists who want to work directly w/ us keep 100% of their music. “If you don’t want the CEOs all in the videos” haa
Drops out of top 700 apps0 Comments
Two weeks after Tidal briefly enters the U.S. iPhone top 20 download chart, the app drops out of the top 700 (stats). In contrast, Pandora and Spotify are in third and fourth position on the U.S. iPhone revenue chart, respectively, the first time two music streaming services have hit the top four in sales simultaneously. Beats Music has started cracking U.S. iPhone top 20 revenue chart.
Chen out, Tonsdast CEO
Chen leaves the company to be replaced by Tonstad. Rumors that 25 staff have been fired are counterd by the company, which says they are “redundancies” and “streamlining” Company:
TIDAL’s new interum [sic] CEO is Peter Tonstad – a former CEO of parent company Aspiro Group. He has a better understanding of the industry and a clear vision for how the company is looking to change the status quo. He’s streamlining resources to ensure talent is maximized to enhance the customer experience. We’ve eliminated a handful of positions and refocused our company-wide talent to address departments that need support and cut redundancies. TIDAL’s offices globally will remain and grow: we are already hirinig [sic] for several new positions now. We’re excited about our future and what’s in-store for fans who want the best listening experience.
I believe in TIDAL and what the team is doing to affect the change the music industry needs. We’re streamlining the company and refocusing our resources to ensure the platform continues to grow, and listeners can make a connection to their favorite artists. No one else is doing this.
Albini calls Tidal a “budget version of Pono” and says it won’t make a significant dent in the market, and says people who want lossless sound will always prefer vinyl:
if you want your music to play at the push of a button, convenience is going to trump sound quality 100 percent of the time. It’s for the same reason that if you had a screen that displayed paintings in your living room, very few serious art enthusiasts would care for such a screen despite the fact that it might show you very high-resolution images of artworks. They want to own a piece of art that is a direct connection to the person who made it. Having an HD screen in your house that would display artwork might have a market, but it’s not the same market as people who are interested in owning art.
The for-pay services are deluding themselves by trying to establish a permanent monetization of something that’s in flux. The internet provides access to materials and things. Creating these little streaming fiefdoms where certain streaming services have certain artists and certain streaming services have other artists is a crippled use of the internet. If the internet has demonstrated anything over the years, it’s that it has a way of breaking limitations placed on its content.
If I had been Jay Z, I would have brought out ten artists that were underground or independent and said, ‘These are the people who are struggling to make a living in today’s music industry. Whereas this competitor streaming site pays this person 15 cents for X amount of streams, that same amount of streams on my site, on Tidal, will pay that artist this much. I think 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. There was a wonderful opportunity squandered to highlight what this service would mean for artists who are struggling and to make a plea to people’s hearts and pocketbooks to pay a little more for this service that was going to pay these artists a more reasonable streaming rate. And they didn’t do it. That’s why this thing is going to fail miserably.
In an interview the band respond to the mention of TIDAL with “a series of loud fart sounds”. Marcus:
We wouldn’t have joined it anyway, even if they had asked. We don’t want to be tribal. I think smaller bands should get paid more for it, too. Bigger bands have other ways of making money, so I don’t think you can complain. A band of our size shouldn’t be complaining. And when they say it’s artist-owned, it’s owned by those rich, wealthy artists. What I’m not into is the tribalistic aspect of it—people trying to corner bits of the market, and put their face on it. That’s just commercial bullshit. We hire people to do that for us rather than having to do that ourselves. We just want to play music, and I don’t want to align myself with Spotify, Beats, Tidal, or whatever. We want people to listen to our music in their most comfortable way, and if they’re not up for paying for it, I don’t really care.
We don’t want to be part of some Tidal ‘streaming revolution’ nor do we want to be Taylor Swift and be anti-it. I don’t understand her argument, either. The focus is slightly missed. Music is changing. It’s f-cking changing. This is how people are going to listen to music now—streaming. So diversify as a band. It doesn’t mean selling your songs to adverts. We look at our albums as stand-alone pieces of art, and also as adverts for our live shows.
The rapper, along with Tidal exec Vania Schlogel, holds a Q&A session with students at New York University’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. He talks about how Tidal gives a higher royalty to its artists.
You don’t want to single anyone out, per se — but currently we pay the highest royalty percentage. And there is no free tier service. If you have five people paying for music, and 10 people consuming it, then the artist starts at -5. We start at 1. There is no free tier and we’ll pay the highest royalty percentage. That’s how we’ll change the industry…You guys may have seen some of the stats like, Aloe Blacc had a song that was streamed 168 million times and he got paid $4,000. For us, it’s not us standing here saying we’re poor musicians. If you provide a service, you should be compensated for it.
On the discussion about ‘rich artists’ benefiting:
You never hear Tim Cook’s net worth whenever he tries to sell you something. Steve Jobs, God bless, he had to have been pretty rich — nobody’s ever said, ‘Oh, the rich getting richer! I won’t buy an iPhone!’ Yeah, right. It’s not about being pretentious; again, this is a thing for all artists. You pay $9.99 for Spotify, so why not $9.99 for Tidal? We’re not asking for anything else, we’re just saying that we’ll spread that money to artists more fairly. We’re not saying anything other than that, and we’re saying that we’re in a position to bring light to this issue. We’re using our power that way.
Allen criticizes the streaming music site on Twitter:
i LOVE Jay z so much, but TIDAL is soon expensive compared to other perfectly good streaming services, he’s taken the biggest Artists, made them exclusive to TIDAL (am i right in thinking this ?). People are going to swarm back to pirate sites in droves, sending traffic to torrent sites. Up and coming (not yet millionaires) artists are going to suffer as a result… my concern is that Tidal may set emerging artists back. WE COULD JUST STRIKE TILL THE LABELS GIVE US OUR FAIR SHARE OF STREAMING REVENUE, NOT TAKE ADVANCES, NOT DELIVER MUSIC, FOR THE FUTURE ARTIST…A REAL REVOLUTION YEAH…….. GUYS………. GUYS……….. USHER?…….. MADGE……. DAFT PUNKS?? GUYS???????? *WAVES AT YACHT*.
Just to clarify… i really don’t give a f-ck about the music industry, well, I care about a few good eggs that work within it and am grateful to the people who have helped me develop as an artist. My concern is that Tidal may set emerging artists back. Hosting exclusive consent from the biggest stars on the planet on a paying platform, while i agree with its intention, i fear it will send people back to pirate/torrent sites.” It’s an interesting point, but surely those that can’t (or won’t) pay for TIDAL will just continue using Spotify instead of turning to piracy?
Sprint, Softbank invest at $250m valuation
Sprint and parent SoftBank buy a minority stake in Jay Z’s subscription music service. While the size of the investment couldn’t be learned, sources said the deal values Tidal at around $250 million. At the launch event, Tidal’s chief investment officer, Vania Schlogel, said the service had been working closely with Sprint’s CEO. Sprint is preparing to offer Tidal’s service on its phones although the details and the pricing are unclear.
Jay-Z launches his streaming music service TIDAL at an industry event, #TIDALforall at Skylight in Moynihan Station in New York City. He announces his partnership with 16 other artists, including Beyonce, Madonna, Usher, Rihanna, Butler and Chassagne of Arcade Fire, Jason Aldean, J. Cole, Jack Wright, Chris Martin, Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Nikki Minaj, Coldplay and Calvin Harris, who formally sign a declaration of partnership. Tidal is the first service to offer ad-free music, video and editorial content owned by the stars who actually create it. The high quality sound service is available across iOS and Android devices, as well as in Web browsers and desktop players, in the U.S. and 30 other countries. Tidal Premium is $9.99, and Tidal Hifi is $19.99. Alicia Keys:
We come to you with one voice in unity. The first ever artist owned global music and entertainment platform!
Aspiro acquisition complete
Jay-Z wins control of Aspiro after more than 90% of shareholders accepted the star’s $54m offer. A spokesman for Project Panther Bidco, says all the conditions for completing the acquisition have now been met. The offer is declared unconditional on Friday and Aspiro will be delisted from the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange.
Aspiro had 500,000 paying users for its streaming services at the end of 2014, which includes 35,000 subscribers for its “lossless” HiFi-quality music service that is available in the UK under the Tidal brand, a service that costs £19.99 a month – double the price of Spotify in the UK. The company had posted a net loss of $5m for the last three months of 2014, and admitted that it could run out of money at some point this year. The company plans to launch Tidal in 22 countries, mostly in Europe, by the end of March.
Aspiro Acquisition Bid
Jay Z, though his company, Project Panther, will buy Aspiro, a Swedish music streaming service WiMP for 464 million Swedish crowns ($56 million) in cash. Shares in Aspiro leap 59 percent in early trading, to the bid level of 1.05 crowns per share. Norwegian media house Schibsted, Aspiro’s main shareholder, says it had accepted the offer, while Aspiro’s board said it is united in recommending the bid, virtually ensuring its success. Project Panther:
Panther believes that the recent developments in the entertainment industry, with the migration to music and media streaming, offers great potential for increased entertainment consumption and an opportunity for artists to further promote their music. Panther’s strategic ambition revolves around global expansion and up-scaling of Aspiro’s platform, technology and services.