My love of music is inescapable.
Just last night, I was up late scouring over used Pono music players on Amazon. Sure, I realize this is something I don’t really need, but the audiophile in me still wants one. Badly.
I also took keen notice of the headlines surrounding Jay Z’s hi-resolution music portal, TIDAL. I’ve checked out TIDAL before, having written about it earlier. Back then my beef with the company was the mismanagement of its brand: it was all about the musician and not the listener.
Now, it’s about the company’s erratic behavior.
TIDAL is taking one step forward and two steps back.
Here is the good: Megastars are officially releasing their albums solely through the TIDAL streaming service. Rihanna, for example, offered up her new album Anti as an exclusive. The album and tracks from the release, like “Work,” have been topping the charts. That means the user-base is growing and is doing so because of the goods being offered.
Kanye West also released his new album, The Life of Pablo, as an exclusive. While the release is not garnering the same success as Anti (Kanye just missed the number one slot on the Billboard chart), it is a huge for TIDAL.
Yesterday, TIDAL announced that it was being sued over copyright violations and for not paying artists the proper royalties. Basically, the streaming service is making money off the independent musicians because they haven’t agreed upon licensing or received authorization from those musicians. Sounds shady to me.
This isn’t what TIDAL needs as it competes with strong brands like Apple Music, Pandora and Spotify.
What it does need is to solidify a brand and stick to it. It is a company ever so close to massive success, with official releases reaching peak chart positions.
But then it loses its way by cheating musicians out of their rightful royalties. Antics like that don’t look good, anyway you slice it. It’s not really about the musician either, is it?