About Face! TIDAL Now Focuses on Emerging Artists too


From a publicity standpoint, it’s been a shitty week for TIDAL, the high-fidelity, artist-owned jay-zstreaming and exclusive content site that wreaks of a land designed to appease rich musicians that don’t feel rich enough.

Very public critiques came out this week from Mumford & Sons, then Death Cab for Cutie. Both stating that Jay Z and company should focus more on struggling, emerging artists and not just those who already have well-established careers.

Well, the about face for TIDAL has been a quick one, as the company has updated its app to include a new feature called ‘TIDAL Rising.’

In a press release, it’s explained: “The updated left hand menu features TIDAL Rising. TIDAL gives voice to tomorrow’s biggest names through TIDAL RISING, a program dedicated to promoting emerging and independent artists from around the world. Every week, nascent talent in any genre will emerge.”

{insert the sound of golf claps and uncomfortable laughter right here.}

“We wouldn’t have joined [TIDAL] anyway, even if they had asked. We don’t want to be tribal,” said frontman Marcus Mumford. “I think smaller bands should get paid more for it, too. Bigger bands have other ways of making money, so I don’t think you can complain. A band of our size shouldn’t be complaining. And when they say it’s artist-owned, it’s owned by those rich, wealthy artists.”

Added Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard in a separate interview: “If I had been Jay Z, I would have brought out 10 artists that were underground or independent and said, ‘These are the people who are struggling to make a living in today’s music industry. Whereas this competitor streaming site pays this person 15 cents for X amount of streams, that same amount of streams on my site, on TIDAL, will pay that artist this much.’ 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.”

He continued: “There was a wonderful opportunity squandered to highlight what this service would mean for artists who are struggling and to make a plea to people’s hearts and pocketbooks to pay a little more for this service that was going to pay these artists a more reasonable streaming rate. And they didn’t do it. That’s why this thing is going to fail miserably.”

-Adam Grant

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