‘TIDAL is just getting started’ was the message sent from
multiple sources yesterday within the just-relaunched music
service. More exclusive content is part of their refrain, but
so is a bigger tent that will embrace more artists.
The 16 current arist-owners “have equal ownership and majority
ownership in the company,” according to TIDAL senior executive Vania
Schlogel. New artists who join Tidal will also “be
participating in the equity upside of this,” she said. Exactly
who is eligible to participate and how equity – which is, after
all a finite resource – will be divided, remains as unclear as
many details surrounding TIDAL.
More Control & Money For All
All artists, whether partners or not, will earn more money per
stream than they do on Spotify and other existing music
services, according to Schlogel. One reason that TIDAL may be
able to keep that promise is that there is no free listening
tier diluting profits from paying customers. Another is
TIDAL’s $19.99 price for hi-def streaming.
In the end, the size of payments will be driven primarily by
how many users TIDAL can entice to sign up and pay monthly.
Our informal poll is running 3 to 1 against TIDAL. [You can still vote here.] These results are
a reflection of the concerns of musicians, labels and others in
the industry, in part because TIDAL has been slow to share
information. As I told International Business Times, the
backlash is understandable given that the launch felt a bit
like TIDAL was mostly about further enriching 16 already rich
But as I said to IBT reporter Max
Willins,”I’m still hopeful. These are smart people who, I
believe, care about music as well as commerce. It would be
particularly disappointing if they did not work to help other
artists who are struggling as they once did.”