Jay Z's Tidal Gets Abuse from Lily Allen
When some of the biggest names in music assembled to take on the industry that helped create them they perhaps should have foreseen the backlash that would await them. In what looked like a scene from The Avengers, Jay Z gathered an army of big-shot besties to relaunch his newly acquired music streaming service, Tidal. Gushing that the product would deliver a “better experience for both fans and artists”, he strutted about onstage flanked by a who’s who of the music industry, including Beyoncé, Rihanna, Madonna, Alicia Keys, Nicki Minaj, Usher, Calvin Harris, Chris Martin, Daft Punk, Deadmau5 and Kanye West. Tidal, which Jay Z bought from a Swedish firm for a cool $56 million (Dhs205m), is the world’s first artist-owned subscription-based music service, and the rapper claimed a new app version of the product, which costs $19.99 (Dhs73) a month, would “create a better service and experience for fans and for artists”.
Lily Leads the Rip-off Revolt
British singer Lily Allen fears Tidal could backfire and prompt fans to return to making illegal downloads. The 29-year-old tweeted: “I love Jay Z so much, but Tidal is so expensive compared to other perfectly good streaming services. He’s taken the biggest artists [and] made them exclusive to Tidal. People are going to swarm back to pirate sites in droves. Up-and-coming artists are going to suffer as a result.” Lily thinks that the real problem with websites such as Spotify is not that streaming is ‘free’ – their income often comes from advertising – but that music moguls don’t pay artists a fair share of the proceeds. She said: “We’re not paid well, but that’s because the labels take their market share and then determine how to divide it between their artists. We could just strike until the labels give us our fair share of streaming revenue?”
Allen’s been backed by music fans outraged to see the celebs they love hijacking social media to make more money. A number of stars turned their profile pictures turquoise, the colour of Tidal’s logo, and shared the hashtag #TidalForAll. Jay Z tweeted: “The tides they are a-changing. #TidalForAll.” Kanye West said: “Together, we can turn the tide and make music history. Start by turning your profile picture blue. #TidalForAll.”
The Greedy Musicians
Fans slated the campaign for employing activists’ tactics to promote an app that helps musicians earn more instead of lending their voices to more worthwhile causes. One Twitter user wrote: “So proud of the upper echelons of the music industry all banding together to make Jay Z some money.” Another said: “I hate it when #TidalForAll is disguised as a charity when it’s an overpriced product launch. Disgusting.” Then, a third blasted: “Multimillionaires doing an awareness campaign for their favourite charity – their bank accounts.”