Can you recall your high school years? Can you recall the sounds of the hallway and the smells of the cafeteria? Do you remember the sound of locker doors slamming and the bells ringing? Wait…before you start having too many flashbacks, good or bad…do you remember the quiet reserved kid, who was the epitome of cool. He was one that said maybe 10 words a day, but when he spoke everyone listened? The one whose steps seemed to line up perfectly so that when he jumped on his motorcycle he never broke stride. He had the best weed, knew of the best parties, and even the teachers seemed to kiss up to him. Well, sorry to take you away from your nostalgia, but, that’s how we view the music streaming company Tidal. Too cool for school and NO ONE knows it.
Now I’m sure reading this you may feel that we have drank the Jay Z/Beyonce new world order Kool-Aid and I’m sure at this point you have a very conflicting opinion. It’s funny, so did we. In our minds Tidal was an app that was all hype and no substance. All about the show and really nothing to do with their vision statement being “A music streaming app for artists by artists.”
However, after our research. We were floored. I mean, they are doing SOOO much more than just being topics of Kanye West soundbites during his controversial Life of Pablo release. I can truly and honestly say, as well as stake my reputation on it (with whatever journalistic credibility I have lol) that TIDAL is out to HELP ARTISTS.
And what helps artists more than anything else? Yep, you guessed it. Money. So let’s start out with how Tidal is compensating their creators.
Tidal’s royalty payout is quite similar to Spotify and Apple music, being that they pay out an average of 75% of their total revenues to their rights holders. So, again, if you’re just seeing that, you’re probably thinking…”I told you, all flash, no substance” BUT WAIT. Let’s keep going.
According to our friends at Digital Music News, (Hi Ari!!) Tidal pays out 5X the amount that Spotify pays per stream for royalties. Some reports showing that Tidal pays between ($0.024 - $0.028 per stream). Breaking that down in terms of a dollar…that’s between 35 – 40 streams to equal $1.00) Comparing Tidal’s payout to Apple music…you would need 166 streams to make a dollar on the produce platform.
Something to take note of is that Tidal (like Apple Music) offers NO FREE tier. Users are given a 30 day free trial for their $9.99 basic subscription or $19.99 for the HiFi subscription. Can I pose a simple question for second? Do you know, or can you honestly tell the difference between normal fidelity and High Fidelity? Just curious.
Okay now let’s jump into the good stuff. The stuff that Tidal doesn’t really speak on. The exposure, and what they’re actively doing for artists. It’s A LOT more than you think.
First, kudos to Tidal for starting with around 540,000 subscribers, and in less than a year turning that into 4.2 million. Perhaps it’s the controversies that have risen behind it… for example Tidal caught some really negative press when they accidentally leaked the much anticipated Rihanna album ANTI just hours before its release date. Whoops!
But on the good news side of things Tidal boasts a HUGE 40 MILLION songs on their platform. Spotify and Apple Music only report to have 30 MILLION. Also Prince…the artist himself, Prince Rogers Nelson’s ENTIRE discography (well…maybe not entire, we don’t know for sure what’s in the Paisley Park vault) but as far as released music for Prince, you can ONLY find it on Tidal.
But for a second, let’s look at Prince. There are countless factual stories in regards to Prince’s notorious and tumultuous battles with labels, PRO organizations and yes even streaming companies. So why…why in the great purple world would he ink a deal with Tidal?!
Well, here is something you might not know that Tidal is doing, because for some reason they are far too busy, boasting about HiFi, when honestly most listening devices don’t even carry the technology to produce that type of high bit rate quality!! So let’s talk the stuff that they NEED to talk about and market. HOW THEY ARE HELP ARTISTS. And I can assure you, they are.
Tidal has a program titled TIDAL RISING in which they seek out and personally select artists that are quickly gaining streams and traction within their platform. They then, personally contact them, and offer them - and this is the incredible part:
• Prominent Placement On TIDAL - Any album or single release, video content piece, or playlist or editorial content piece will be featured on the TIDAL front page and be allotted a slot in the “What’s New” section, the most visited placement area on TIDAL.
• Press Photos - Fully-funded and produced professional photo shoot for artists to create incredible hi-resolution images.
• Public Relations Support - PR team will provide support to ensure good rollout plans are in place for releases, and will accompany artist to events if needed.
• Artist Imaging - Provide a professional stylist to help artist with wardrobe, hair, and makeup, as well as other aspects such as media training.
• Tour Support - This speaks to the core values of artists supporting artists. The premise is simple: TIDAL’s Tour Support is a fund for TIDAL Rising artists that never has to be recouped or paid back. This may include facilitation of everything from van rentals to equipment rentals to fuel to hotel and any other needs that may arise for the band on the road.
• Music Videos - TIDAL can provide funding and help connect artists with great and established music video directors so that newer artists can create incredible and professional music videos.
• Custom Editorial And Video Content - Video and editorial features that allow fans to really get an in-depth look at an artist and their musical persona. • Live Show Bookings or Premium Show Placements - Valuable opportunities to perform for tastemakers, industry heavyweights, and fans (example; TIDAL Rising Stage at Made in America Philly & San Francisco).
Yeah… we were FLOORED as well. A LOT of cool shit for artists and Tidal isn’t talk about ANY OF IT. Yes, it’s on their website, but why isn’t Tidal known for how they are aggressively helping artists grow and succeed at grassroots level!!
So like that the kid in high school who never said a word but just was sooo f#%$ing dope, we seriously encourage Tidal, for the love of Prince and David Bowie’s ghosts, STOP TALKING ABOUT HIFI and start talking and marketing towards your true mission: The artist. Because you’re doing something right and people NEED TO KNOW.