A Tidal Wave of Change?

“Please allow me to reintroduce myself” must’ve been Jay Z’s thoughts as he announced his plans to release his new music streaming service “Tidal.” As we are now well into 2015, it’s no secret that buying and downloading music is old-fashioned. In today’s world, we demand instant access to all of our favorite music and entertainment by way of streaming.

However, what’s most convenient for the consumer is not always best for the artists.

…In steps Jay Z.

Just over half way to a $1 billion net worth, the rap icon and husband of Queen B is never complacent with his work. Almost two years after the release of his last album, Magna Carta, the platinum recording artist decided to join forces with fellow superstars such as Alicia Keys, Arcade Fire, Rihanna, Daft Punk, Madonna, J. Cole, Beyonce, Kanye West, Usher, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Calvin Harris, Jason Aldean, Jack White, Deadmau5 and Nicki Minaj.

In effort to make a stance on the extraordinarily low percentages that artists gain from streaming services such as Spotify and Google Play, these icons are working for better pay and higher quality music for listeners.

In an interview at The Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, Young HOV described his latest venture as “a declaration that we’re going to work really hard to improve what’s going on in the pay system as we know it. 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.”

At first glance, Tidal looks like a convenient plan to put more money into fat wallets – but that’s just first glance. Sure, all the initial investors are incredibly successful and wealthy artists – but what about the smaller and independent artists of the world? Who’s paying them? That’s where Tidal really comes into play.

Tidal caters to the music lover – the listener who wants their favorite artists to succeed.

Priced at $10 and $20 for a monthly subscription based on music quality, Tidal allows individuals who value sound quality to upgrade and enjoy their music in vinyl condition. Additionally, Tidal plans to offer unique and exclusive artist content such as interviews and music videos to subscribers.

But why switch from Spotify? Besides the higher sound quality, increased artist compensation and exclusive content – it’s Jay Z we’re talking about. The man didn’t earn $500 million on accident. He knows what he’s doing and I’m sure as hell paying attention.

*Featured Photo (above) credit to Kevin Mazur, Getty Images.

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