The TIDAL Wave Has Settled


Elijah Powell, Staff Writer/ Opinion Editor

TIDAL is a streaming service that promises audio and music videos streaming in CD quality along with offline streaming and music editorial features for ten to twenty dollars a month. My SoundCloud account is FREE and so is this website known as YouTube. There is absolutely no reason for me to even try out Tidal’s free trial.


Now that my dislike for the service is out there, let me tell you why. A vague Tidal promotional video shows Jay Z, Beyonce, Daft Punk, and a slew of other financially established “musicians” meeting at an undisclosed location to talk about Tidal and how historic it’ll be, with absolutely no touching upon why. Yet everyone who took the podium was talking as if this new streaming service was of revolutionary status. It’s not. To keep it simple, Tidal gives you music that is exclusively from artists who work with Tidal and therefore is only on Tidal. The idea they were trying to convey was that artists are underpaid for their music and that Tidal emphasized proper compensation for musical art, as well as detachment from advertisements and any third party involvement taking the focus away from the music.


To be honest, this is not a bad idea. My problem is that the people who got on board with this company (that’s right, Jay Z did not create Tidal- it was actually started by a company called Aspiro in October of 2014) are all wealthy off of exactly what they all got on stage to claim they’re rebelling against, which is everything but the music.


This is especially true for Jay Z, Tidal’s primary public image and spokesperson, who has made music strategically with a business mindset rather than a pure artist’s mindset for his entire career. Anyone who knows Jays music knows that his appeal is from the fact that people respect his lyrics that glorify his  “I do whatever it takes to get paid”  tactics (“As far as street guys, we was dealing crack/ Thats just how the game goes I don’t owe nobody jack”). People respect such subject matter because they admire a drive for wealth and the idea that a person made it to the high life by having the guts to make money by any means necessary, regardless of morality. I personally do not call that guts, but rather ruthlessness.


So basically everyone who now owns a part of Tidal, including Jack White, Rihanna, Calvin Harris, and many other mainstream artists I pride myself in disregarding, can use their influence to attract their listeners to buy their music directly from them, making their pockets fatter. Any indie artists who get on board can get a sliver of this pie, but definitely not as big a slice as the initial mainstream bandwagoners. So the “revolution” they speak of is actually the monopolizing of mainstream music. This is not a move made in the interest of music fans and independent artists, but a move made in favor of wealthy business men and women who claim to be true to the art forms they used to get rich. The idea would be more well received if it actually came from underground artists who really do need the money, but instead it was picked up swiftly by greedy opportunists.


Because I don’t care about mainstream music, this doesn’t really affect me, but this event highlights one of the many reasons I stay away from mainstream artists. I know exactly how they work and think. This Tidal wave of perpetrating is offensive to the art form of music and anyone who desires to use it for the expression of emotions and ideas rather than a source of income. Its like someone who’s clearly not Jewish donning a yarmulke and walking around telling people that they are Jewish, for whatever gratification may come from that. Fortunately these pretenders have failed in their mission to line their pockets.


Despite the popularity of artists like Jay Z, fewer than expected actually signed up for Tidal. Jay Z reported through twitter that in the first month of operation Tidal had 770,000 subscribers, but this is only due to the fact that Tidal merged with another company called WiMP which was also owned by Aspiro and had 597,000 subscribers, meaning that the number of brand new subscribers was actually 173,000. People know Tidal is a cheap and lame deal, and Jay Z took to the defensive to lie to the public and say everything is going fine.


The message in his tweets was basically reassurance that Tidal is cool, a large amount of people are using it and like it, and that you should sign up too. I’ll pass.


On a less combatative note, if you’d like to see well thought out reasons as to why Tidal most likely cannot work in this day and age, click here.