Jay Z makes good on his Aspiro purchase with Tidal

Months ago it was rumored that Jay Z was getting in the streaming business. He purchased UK’s Aspiro for $56M a company with an already established streaming platform. Today the purchase came full circle with Roc Nation’s launch of Tidal. In an impressive marketing campaign the digital streaming app made an unprecedented entrance into the streaming marketplace. The effectiveness of the marketing campaign alone will for sure garner share from already established streaming providers like Spotify and Pandora. (I Currently use neither but Tidal is interesting . . .).

Currently there is no word if the major artists who participated in the marketing campaign will exclusively have there music on Tidal’s streaming platform (Update: The artists will offer exclusive music through Tidal). I think the marketing campaign leaves a lot left to be desired for the true functionality of the app and the value to independent artists. In an a brief interview with Billboard Jay Z stresses that music is essential to the listener and that today’s compensation model for artists is broken. Tidal hopes to fix that massive problem for artists at a more expensive cost to the consumer ($19.99 per month for high-def audio, or $9.99 for a standard-definition tier). Tidal justifies it’s service model on two aspects the artists are guaranteed a higher percentage of sales and the consumer is guaranteed a higher quality sound.

Tidal launched with sixteen artist stakeholders: Shawn Carter himself, Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West, Jack White, Arcade Fire, Drake, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Calvin Harris, Daft Punk, deadmau5, Jason Aldean, J. Cole and Madonna. Each artists stakeholder was offered a 3 percent share in the company in exchange for exclusive music. The artists’ total equity in the company comes to just under a majority stake, at around 48 percent.

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