Is @JayZ’s @Tidal #music streaming service failing?


Is Jay-Z’s Tidal music service failing?


Too soon to know. 

Tidal, the new music streaming service from Jay Z, already looks like a wash. Less than a month after launching, it is sitting in the deep, subterranean reaches of the App Store’s U.S. app charts, at No. 664. By comparison, Spotify, the leader in on-demand streaming, is the 17th most downloaded app in America. Beats Music, which is in the middle of getting a major revamp from owner Apple, is in 58th place. “Any hot new app will see a big drop in downloads after the hype from its launch dies down, but it doesn’t look like Tidal was all that hot to begin with,” Gawker’s Jay Hathaway noted Wednesday. “It briefly peaked at #19 overall before falling out of the top 200 less than two weeks later.”

It’s hard to pick out just one reason why Tidal is failing. You can start with its oblivious marketing message. The service promised to compensate musicians more fairly than its competitors, namely Spotify, which is known for effectively paying pennies per stream. But at its glitzy unveiling ceremony, the company shared few specifics about exactly how it would do so. Meanwhile, Jay Z was joined on stage by a phalanx of his fabulously wealthy pop-star friends, including Madonna, Jack White, Kanye West, Daft Punk, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj, in a rather tone-deaf demonstration of solidarity among superstar entertainers (all of whom, it was revealed, owned equity in the project). As Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard put it, “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.”


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