Business of Music Rants and Bants

Things could be looking up for Tidal

Things could be looking up for Tidal.It’s been barely a year since the Tidal streaming service had a somewhat extravagant star-studded rebirth under new owner Sean Carter (Jay Z), and then was shortly hit by a… Wait for it… A hostile tidal wave from Apple Music. It’s been rough patches for Tidal since then as it gained a million subscribers within the same time-frame Apple Music gained roughly ten times that figure. Tidal also had to bear the brunt of media scrutiny last year. The service which was launched to help artists earn what they truly deserve was in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Low download rate and unjustifiably high monthly subscription plans, just to name a few. 

But it’s only February and things are looking up for Tidal. Monthly subscription fees have been reduced significantly and exclusive content is beginning to pay off because it’s not just any exclusive content, it’s Beyoncé, Rihanna and Kanye West content. That’s 49 Grammy Awards in Total.
   

 
Rihanna’s ANTi album launch was arguably the most annoyingly brilliant one after 2013’s Magna Carta Holy Grail was released by Tidal’s very own Jay Z. Rihanna literally made Samsung buy her the RIAA platinum certification. ANTi was released exclusively on Tidal on January 29th this year and was free for the first million downloaders who are currently enjoying a free 60-day trial period on Tidal. She’s now the fastest to make it to platinum thanks in major part to Tidal. And Samsung, don’t forget Samsung. A win for Rihanna, a win for Tidal.
    
High-fidelity content didn’t cause a whirlpool as Tidal would’ve wished, so Jay Z summoned his wife Beyoncé to fit a piece into none other than the Black History Month jigsaw. Formation was released exclusively on Tidal on February 6th and is still buzzing thanks in part to it being a catchy song with Beyoncé choreography (‘Beyoncé’ here is being used as an adjective). It’s popular also because of the timeliness of the strong/controversial message it conveys. Last reason is it’s Beyoncé, and she performed it at the Super Bowl! It’s only right that the music video’s views literally soared by the second on Tidal after that stellar show at Super Bowl 50. This happened within the 60-day trial period on Tidal. Another win. 
    
The latest to grace the 60-day fest is Jay Z’s loud and acceptably arrogant self-proclaimed cockiest most creative most inspiring (the adjectives are never enough for Ye) brother, Kanye West. North West’s daddy held a fashion show and an album listening session at the iconic Madison Square Garden on February 11th and it was exclusive on Tidal. I’m not sure about the fashion show bit, but the anticipation over the Album following his recent twitter rants and album title changes had millions of people livestreaming the event, which according to streamers, justified his recent addiction to social media, creating even more anticipation towards the album’s eventual launch on Tidal. In one picture, here’s what happened after the album was launched two days after the memorable event:
   

 
  
As with every other recent album launch, I was expecting The Life Of Pablo to be available on iTunes after some exclusivity period, but Mr. West said…
  

  

  

  
Too many wins for Tidal from one artist. Kanye could’ve done it better if he emulated Rihanna’s album release model, but he still deserves credit for literally forfeiting fortunes he could’ve made from having the album on multiple platforms, just to support the Tidal Wave (He should’ve maintained the ‘Waves’ title to make this pun complete). 

What are we seeing next on Tidal? Another album? The early Olympics? Let’s find out on the next episode of 60 days of ‘Christmas Came Late’. 

It’s relatively easy getting people, the hard part is keeping them. It’s a lesson I learnt when I had my first girlfriend. Tidal has risen from nowhere to be found to number one on the App Store, but can that position be maintained? Should we expect consistent high tides? I’ve been making all the puns to this point, you can insert one about the Beyhive and surfboards here. 

Update: Speaking of Beyhive, Beyoncé is reportedly releasing and album soon and it will most likely be a Tidal exclusive. The music streaming service is also offering subscribers early access to all the good Beyoncé tickets for her upcoming tour. That’s more wins lined up for Tidal. 

Edudzi.

PS: Apple Music has the Drake card to play later this year. It would be sensational if Apple Music mentioned Tidal Music on twitter with “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late”. 

Benewaah is the lead curator and editor at Harmattan Rain. Her love for music is closely rivaled by her love for plantain.

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