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TIDAL: The Music Industry’s Biggest Lie

Untitled-1Major modern artists all the way from Alicia Keys to Jay Z have come together to release one of the first ever artist owned music platforms… or, so they say. “Jimi Hendrix once said, that music doesn’t lie,” Alicia Keys spoke at the podium for TIDAL’s launch video, and she’s right. Music doesn’t lie, but these musicians who have come together to be a face for the type of companies they state they are against? That is a lie, perhaps one of the biggest lies we have ever seen in the music world to date.

On TIDAL’s website there is a launch video that plays, introducing what sounds like an innovative music streaming website that brings fans and artists together. Made to “re-establish the value of music,” as Vania Schlogel states in said video, she introduces all of the “owners” of Tidal: Alicia Keys, Win Butler, Régine Chassagne, Beyonce, Calvin Harris, Chris Martin of Coldplay, Daft Punk, Jack White, Jason Aldean, J. Cole, Jay Z, Kanye West, Deadmau5, Madonna, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and Usher. These musicians are among one of the most popular of today’s music, but who actually owns Tidal?

Although Alicia Keys takes the podium to speak, it is reported that Jay Z is actually the main owner of TIDAL, having made a 56 million dollar deal. He also stated with Billboard that:

“We didn’t like the direction music was going and thought maybe we could get in and strike an honest blow and if, you know, the very least we did was make people wake up and try to improve the free vs. paid system, and promote fair trade, then it would be a win for us anyway,”

… and it couldn’t be any further from the truth.

Fair, so he says. A premium subscription with TIDAL costs $20, double the price of Spotify in order to get what is advertised as “Lossless,” sound. The quality is advertised as sound that is not comparable to any other outlet for music that exists, and has already been refuted by states in their article “Look closer and you’ll find stipulations. Have a peek at TIDAL’s “HiFiTest” and you’ll see “the test will not give accurate results through the computer’s built-in loudspeakers or through headphones of low quality.”

This “new and innovative,” music platform is actually already partnered with Spotify and its owner, Softbank. While most articles state that Jay Z’s new platform is up against the big dogs, it’s actually quite the opposite. Jay Z has been working with Marcelo Claure for TIDAL, as Vania stated in the launch video. Marcelo is the chief executive officer of the Sprint Corporation. Sprint also recently acquired Softbank, and Vania also states at the beginning of the video that TIDAL is partnered directly with both companies. Do you know who owns Spotify? Yes, It’s Sprint.

The rabbit hole even goes deeper. On TIDAL’s FAQ page they also state that they already have agreements with Universal, Warner, and Sony – the same three companies that are also in agreements with Spotify already.
The most successful and modern artists of today have banded together under the exact “technological companies” they say they are against in their launch video. TIDAL has promised a place for artists and fans to be closer together, a promise of a thriving and sustainable industry, and to even re-establish the value of music. Yet, this has been one of the biggest lies ever told in music history thus far.

Jimi Hendrix once said that music doesn’t lie.


You can find the TIDAL video here.

You may submit feedback to TIDAL here.

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Caitlin Shores

Writer and Photographer

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